A Northern youth group known as the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari-led government’s declaration of bandits as terrorists in Nigeria.
Naija News reports that the Federal Government on Wednesday, January 5, after many criticism and calls, finally declared bandits as terrorists as directed by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made this known in a statement issued through his office on Wednesday.
The gazetted pronouncement proscribed bandits existence, restraining any person or group of persons from participating in activities of bandit groups.
Malami added that the government has gazetted the proscription order and released the gazette to the public for an easy read.
The minister said the gazette proscribing bandits was made on November 25, 2021, but it was unfolded on January 5, 2022, adding that bandits will face trial under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011.
Reacting to the publication in a statement through its National President, Yerima Shettima, ACF said the declaration was better late than never.
The northern youth group commended the Buhari administration for finally yielding to the cry of many Nigerians, saying that nobody should be allowed to hold the country to ransom.
Shettima said: “It’s better late than never, it’s long overdue. All the tendencies and characters of terrorism has been displayed by these characters in the name of banditry.
“It’s indeed a good thing and I applaud the Federal Government for that courage. Some of us were not happy when the court made the pronouncement and the president could not attend to it immediately, but it’s better late than never; this can not continue.
“Nobody can be allowed to continue to hold the country to ransom; as such, I commend the Federal Government and Buhari for this feat.”
The ACF President, however, prayed and urged those saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the law will do the needful, “so that for once, we can have some rest”.
Asked if the proscription is a sign that Nigerians should expect an improvement in the country’s security, Shettima said: “I believe from what I’m seeing that we are likely to see something better than what we have seen in the past.”
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