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FG: Banditry not handled with kid gloves — it’s treated same as terrorism

FG: Banditry not handled with kid gloves — it’s treated same as terrorism
October 05
15:30 2021

The federal government says it is “erroneous” to say it is treating bandits with leniency.

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Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had accused the federal government of treating bandits with kid gloves.

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

Mohammed spoke on Tuesday when he featured on ‘Good Morning Nigeria’, a programme of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

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The minister said the same measures are meted out to both bandits and terrorists, adding that banditry is criminal and has no basis in religion or ideology.

“I think we have been dancing around nomenclature. A criminal is a criminal, whether it is a bandit or terrorist, and the same measure is being meted out to them,” he said.

“That is why we find it ridiculous, the accusation that the federal government is softer on bandits than the separatists and other criminals.

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“This is a fallacy; fake news and misinformation all into one. And this is the kind of divisive rhetoric being promoted by some naysayers.”

Mohammed said Nigeria is winning the war against banditry with the renewed onslaught of the military, as well as certain measures taken by some governors.

The minister also said measures such as suspension of mobile telecommunication networks in certain areas and the ban on the sale of petroleum products in jerrycans are yielding fruits.

He added that the ban on the sale of fairly-used motorcycles in some markets, as well as the restriction on the use of “junction motor parks” in the affected states are also yielding results.

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