By Our Editor
Bandits are insurgents, they are terrorists; they are fighting the sovereignty of Nigeria and we must treat them as such.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, stated this when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
Responding to the question if bandits could be tagged as terrorists, Governor El-Rufai said, “Absolutely, no doubt about it. This is a position we have held in Kaduna State as far back as two and half years ago.
“We insisted that these are insurgents, they are terrorists; they are fighting the sovereignty of Nigeria and we must treat them as such.”
El-Rufai added that there is a connection established between the bandits terrorising the North West and the Boko Haram insurgents operating in the North East.
“It has been established that the kidnapping operations (by bandits) are substantially funding Boko Haram activities in the North East.
“Boko Haram has no way of getting any money and some of them have slipped and joined the ranks of the bandits, and together they are doing this to raise a large amount of money that are being used to fund the intensified operations of Boko Haram,” he said.
The governor lamented that banditry and insurgency have evolved with time into what he described as a business and a structured industry.
He emphasized that this was so as the criminals now have various specialised roles within their ranks which enable them to attack communities.
Recall that various groups and individuals in Nigeria, including the Global Center for Media and Human Empowerment(GCMHE),Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA) has also called on the federal government to categorize bandits and killer herdsmen as terrorists in Nigeria.