A report reaching us from Punch Newspaper has revealed that the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai is asking the Federal Government to declare bandits a terrorist group. He argued that the declaration would enable the military to attack them without any major consequences in international law. Recall that banditry has been a menace ravaging the country in recent times - several people have lost their loved ones and properties due to this scourge.
However, declaring bandits as terrorists might not be the right thing to do due to the following reasons:
Firstly, the Oxford dictionary defines a terrorist as "a person, group, or organization that uses violent action, or the threat of violent action, to further political goals". From this definition, bandits don't fit into the description of a terrorist, as they are not furthering any political goal. Declaring them as insurgents will mean labeling them wrongly.
Furthermore, the declaration will make them start joining forces with other terrorist groups in the country. Recall how a recent report revealed that the dreaded Boko Haram sect migrated to the northwestern region, which is a stronghold of bandits. If they are declared a terrorist group, bandits might join forces with Boko Haram to form a stronger resistance against the military.
Additionally, declaring bandits as terrorists will make them Internationally known and might trigger sponsorship from notorious terrorist groups across the globe, which could make the fight against insecurity by the military more tedious.
Instead of the declaration, the military offensive against them should continue with full force.
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