Declare Bandits Terrorists Now, Security experts tell FG

Armed bandits

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

Disturbed by the ability of the so-called operating in the Northern part of the country to shoot down Airforce fighter jets, two security experts have advised Nigerian Government to also designate the bandits as terrorists before it is too late.

Colonel Anthony Nyam, a retired Military Officer and Kabiru Adamu, a Security Consultant who spoke on African Independent Television (AIT) breakfast programme ‘Kaakaki’ on Wednesday want the Federal Government to take drastic measures against the bandits.

According to the duo, the bandits have shown clearly that they are capable of inflicting maximum damages to the country and its citizens if the downing of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft, returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna States on July 18, 2021 at about 12.45 pm,
is anything to rely upon.

NAF Spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, an Air Commodore and the Director of Public Relations and Information had in an official statement on Monday told a bewildered nation that: “NAF Alpha Jet returning from a successful air interdiction mission came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in and the Pilot rescued”.

But Col. Nyam believes that the bandits have committed acts of terrorism against the Nigerian state by shooting down the NAF Alpha Jet and therefore called on the federal government to quickly declare the bandits as terrorists group as it did to the proscribed Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB).

Said he: “What other evidences do the Federal Government of Nigeria needs to proscribe these bandits who have killed more people in the North East and North West than the IPOB in the South East. I don’t understand why government they are being treated with kids gloves by government”.

The respected retired Military Officer accused the government of double standards, alleging that: “reactions of FG to insecurity in the Southern part of Nigeria are quite different from its reactions in the North”.

Col. Nyam argued that any Non State Actors with RPG, Surface to Air and mass murder weapons and weapons that can shoot down fighter jets are terrorists and FG should designate them as such without further delay.

However, Adamu who agreed with Col. Nyam that the bandits have killed, kidnapped and maimed more people in the North said only the Nigerian judiciary and or the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) can proscribe the bandits and label them a terrorist organisation.

According to the Security Consultant who said he was relying on the Anti-terrorism Act
says only the judiciary and AGF and Minister of Justice has the power to declare bandits as terrorists.

“I stand to be corrected that any other arm of government has the power to declare bandits as terrorists except the judiciary and or the Minister of Justice and AGF are vested with the powers to so declare a group like the bandits a terrorist organisation”, he stated.

He therefore urged the relevant bodies to quickly delve into the matter as the bandits are capable of causing more harm to the nation if allowed to run amock.

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