Bowing to pressure and good reason, the Federal Government on Wednesday declared rampaging bandits across the country as terrorists.
Persecondnews recalls that for several months after the National Assembly, state governors and well-meaning Nigerians had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to classify them as terrorists, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN) has gazetted a court judgement that ordered the government to declare the bandits as terrorists.
Northwest zone of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna states is the epic centre of banditry in 2021, recording daily fatalities.
They have killed hundreds of innocent persons, kidnapped several others including schoolchildren, with some still in their custody, while some are nursing injuries sustained during the attacks.
The terrorists have also made incursions into the Northcentral and other zones in the country.
On November 25, 2021, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had granted an ex-parte application by the Federal Government for Yan Bindiga (Hausa word for gunmen) and Yan Ta’adda (Hausa word for terrorists) to be declared as terrorists.
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Malami, in an interview on January 4, indicated that “his office was in the process of gazetting the court judgement”, saying “the process will be concluded in a matter of days.”
Meanwhile, the Justice Minister’s spokesman, Mr Umar Gwandu, on Wednesday released a document confirming that the office had gazetted the court order.
The document titled, ‘Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice, 2021’ is contained in Volume 108 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette.
“Notice is hereby given that by the Order of the Federal High Court Abuja, in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1370/2021 dated 25th November, 2021 as per the schedule to this Notice, the Activities of Yan Bindiga Group, Yan Ta’adda Group and other similar group in Nigeria are declared to be terrorism and illegal in any part of Nigeria, especially in the North West and North-Central Regions of Nigeria and are proscribed, pursuant to sections 1 and 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.
“Consequently the general public is hereby warned that any person or group of persons participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intentions or otherwise of the groups referred to in paragraph 1 of this Notice will be violating the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 and liable to prosecution,” the document reads in part.