By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
For the umpteenth time, renowned Lagos lawyer and Activist, Femi Falana, has said the federal government has a moral burden to designate bandits as terrorists just as he has tasked the Nigerian media to desist from addressing the group in borrowed garments.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who spoke on African Independent Television breakfast programme ‘Kakaaki’, on Tuesday, said he is still baffled why the federal government has refused to designate bandits as terrorists
According to him: “I am yet to understand why bandits should not be designated as terrorists which they truly are. I have tried without success to know why other groups less dangerous like the Indigenous Peoples of Biafrans (IPOB) have been branded terrorists and subsequently proscribed”.
“To be clear on this issue, Section 2 of Terrorism Prevention Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has stated clearly who is a terrorist.
Falana who is also the Chairman for Survival of Covid-19 Group has therefore tasked the Nigerian media to probe why federal government has refused to tag bandits who are kidnapping hundreds of school children and citizens for ransom and killing their victims who fail to pay ransom as terrorists.
Said he: “there are no basis for journalists to continue to address those who are downing Nigerian military fighter jets as bandits when those agitating for injustice in the polity are called terrorists and proscribed”.
Asked if the federal government is right in withholding the names of alleged sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria, the outspoken lawyer said it smacks of insincerity, pointing out that the arguments do not hold any water.
“Federal Government cannot be allowed to publish the names of alleged looters, fraudsters, etc but says it cannot name Sponsors of Terrorism including bandits kingpins. This is what we are talking about that there are alot of injustices in Nigeria and a lot of double standards”.
“In my opinion, Federal Government should not hesitate to name and shame sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria. That will convince everyone that we are serious in the fight against terrorism in the country”, Falana insists.