Since about the past one week, one of the trending developments in Nigeria is the proscription of bandits as terrorists by Abuja-based federal high court.
Specifically, following the federal government (FG) filing of the case, the Abuja-based federal high court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that the activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups that are based in the North constituted acts of terrorism. The judgement encompasses all other armed groups that their activities contravene the interest of the country.
It will be recalled that prior to the recent declaration, despite the calls by the members of the publc on the FG to take the decision due to the incessant acts of insecurity that bandits have been orchestrating in the North-West and some parts of the North-Central, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi had been holding the opposite position. According to him in one of his recent views, he warned that if the FG declared the criminals as terrorists, Nigeria would end.
And in the comments he made while fielding questions from TVC News after the proscription, he said that the judgement would only push the criminals to join forces with the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists, as well as the foreign jihadists against the country. Speaking further, he said that the FG should not push them to that extent.
In consideration of everything that the Islamic evangelist has been saying to the FG about the declaration of the bandits as terrorists, one thing that can be said is that he seems to be threatening the apex government about the ordinary criminals as if a primary school pupil is being warned about his teacher. He should remember that worse criminals than the outlaws could not conquer the military might of the government.
Also, as per the warning that the bandits would form a merger with other terrorists groups, it is really nothing new. This is because, according to a report few months ago, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) intercepted them on their way to the Boko Haram members’ hideouts in Sambisa forest to receive trainings on criminality. Also, it was said that they were discovered to be receiving tutelage from the same terrorists on how to use lethal weapons like anti-aircraft missile launchers. Despite all this, they have been at the receiving end of the mayhem they are masterminding.
In a nutshell, Sheikh Gumi should not forget that the declaration of bandits as terrorists because they were deserving of it.