The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said it is impossible to prescribe bandits in Nigeria because they don’t go by any name.
Mohammed stated this on Wednesday while speaking on AIT’s Kaakaki program. He noted that what matters more is how the bandits are treated and not prescribing them.
“You proscribe known groups with names. You can’t just proscribe an unknown group legally,” he said.
“Secondly, it’s not whether they are proscribed or not, it is the way they are treated. Does the government actually treat them with kid gloves? The answer is no.”
The Minister noted a difference between the bandits and the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, a group that the Federal Government has proscribed since it is known.
He said, “When a group is championing a course for the disintegration of Nigeria… A group like IPOB (that) does not even recognise Nigeria as a state, sets up its own army and think it is a sovereign state is different from bandits and criminals. Please, don’t compare apples and oranges.”
When asked if the bandits who take up arms against citizens are not a threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria, the Minister said the cases are entirely different.
He noted that “Security challenges are one thing. Challenging the sovereignty of Nigeria is an entirely different thing. Don’t let us dwell on semantics.
Speaking further, he said, “Don’t armed robbers threaten the security of lives and property? They do. Is there anywhere in the world that armed robbers have been proscribed?”