Middle Belt Forum flays Buhari’s govt over Malami’s comment on bandits

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The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has berated Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami over his comment on the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s reluctance to designate bandits as terrorists.

Malami had said that the administration was reluctant to designate bandits as terrorists as declared by a Federal High Court because the government was sticking to the International best practice.

Reacting, the National President of MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu said that the AGF’s comment was an indication that there is no political will to end terrorism in Nigeria.

“I can never buy that line of thought. It means they have seen that their people who are doing mischief will be protected better if they are left as bandits.

“And as far as I am concerned, court orders are court orders and Malami has to obey it. If the court has made its declaration based on the practice of the people and their actions, they have been terrorizing people, they even shot down an aircraft, they have gone beyond the level of bandits and the court has declared them as terrorists and so it should be obeyed.

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“Therefore the treatment the federal government should give to terrorists should be given to them. They are not a special breed.

“Recall that the Boko Haram was started by mainly Kanuris and later minorities and other groups joined. Today Boko Haram is predominantly Fulani.

“What makes them different from the people operating in the North West? They are one and the same.

“More importantly the court has declared them as terrorists, so that should be what they should be called; and that should be how they should be treated to enable us to have a solution to the problem we are having.

“Many of us have said that the truth about the matter is that this thing is lingering because there is no political will. And the action of Malami is an indication that there is no political will to end terrorism in Nigeria.

“And trying to give these criminals a safe haven does not solve any problem.

“They should be treated as terrorists and the declaration of the court should determine the name and their classification at the international level so that we can jointly rout this thing out of Nigeria and have peace.

“By so doing all they are doing by exporting terrorism to other parts of the country will stop.”

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