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Defence minister: Why FG hasn’t declared bandits as terrorists

Author:
Ebunoluwa Olafusi

Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, says the need to follow due process is responsible for the delay in declaring bandits as terrorists.

There have been calls for the federal government to declare bandits as terrorists, amid accusation that the government is handling bandits with “kid gloves”.

But, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, had said the federal government’s approach is not to make a distinction between bandits and terrorists.

Speaking with journalists in Maiduguri on Friday, Magashi said there is a procedure that needs to be observed before such a declaration.

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“We are not declaring them terrorists because there is a procedure for doing that,” he said.

“When the procedure is followed, they will be classified as terrorists. We are waiting for the procedure to be completed.”

The minister said he was in Maiduguri with the service chiefs to assess the ongoing fight against insurgency in the north-east.

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He also expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded so far, adding that his team met with the theatre commander and other component commanders to deliberate on the next phase of operations.

Magashi also said the meeting identified problems that required urgent attention to enhance the security operations.

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