While remaining shy of declaring bandits operating in Northern Nigeria as terrorists, President Buhari said, on Sunday, that bandits are no different from Boko Haram, in some areas.
This was contained in a response released by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, asa a result of the publication of the UK based news magazine, The Economist, which stated that the security situation in Nigeria was getting worse under President Buhari.
Shehu Garba held that, “But this too the Economist inaccurately described: “bandits” who have the resources and technology to shoot down a military fighter jet are not bandits at all – but rather highly organized crime syndicates with huge resources and weaponry. Yet they are essentially no different to Boko Haram in this regard who are now cornered.”
Nigeria’s Senate and the House of Representatives, alongside many eminent Nigerians, including Kaduna State governor, Nasir El Rufaí, and Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, have asked the president to declare the bandits as terrorists.
The bandits, several armed groups operating mainly in North-west and North-central Nigeria, have killed or kidnapped thousands of people since President Buhari assumed office.
In his response, Shehu Garba acknowledged that: “The Economist is correct: Nigeria faces multiple threats. They confluence now not because of this government; but on the contrary, it is this government which is addressing them concurrently, and simultaneously – when no other prior administration sought to adequately address even a single one.”