Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Garba Shehu, has insisted that what President Muhammadu Buhari has done to bandits is worse than the treatment meted on the Indigenous People’s of Biafra (IPOB) group.
Shehu, in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Saturday, said
the notion held by Nigerians that the Buhari-led administration was giving preferential treatment in the handling of matters concerning bandits and other people posing threats to the nation’s stability were far from the truth as the President was dealing them a fatal blow.
Reacting to a question on why the Federal Government has not declared bandits and criminal herdsmen, terrorists and outlawed them, Shehu said:
“What the Buhari administration has done to the arms-wielding bandits is worse than being declared as terrorists.
“Do you know that there is a subsisting order by the President that any arms-wielding, AK-47 bandits should be shot on sight?”
Comparing the handling of bandits with the handling of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Shehu said while there is a subsisting order by the President to shoot any bandit on sight, there is no such order against the proscribed Igbo separatist group.
“I am saying yes, IPOB has been proscribed by law of the land, there is no shoot-on-sight order on IPOB. There is nothing to suggest that these bandits are treated preferentially,” he added.
Shehu also said progress had been recorded in dealing with bandits and terrorists.
“The Nigerian Air Force is busy bombing locations, the military is there on the ground, exchanging fire for fire, taking them out in hundreds, that is certainly not treating them (bandits) lightly.
“It is a matter of time, they will be substantially reduced and the Nigerian state will be safe all over again.
“For instance, Boko Haram are surrendering today in their thousands, this did not just happen.
“Before President Buhari assumed office, many Nigerians could not worship on Fridays, Mosques were being bombed; on Sundays churches were being bombed, motor parks and public gatherings too. But today, everyone can testify that such do not happen.”
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