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‘Bandits have the same characteristics as terrorists’ – APC governors forum DG slams Gumi

Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman has stated that bandits have the same characteristics as terrorists.

Recall that a prominent Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi had recently stated that there will be severe consequences if the government declares bandits as terrorists.

Gumi’s position came weeks after the national assembly asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits as terrorists.

But in a statement on Thursday, Lukman described Gumi’s position as “irresponsible”.

“Interestingly, apologists and self-appointed counsels to the bandits, such as Sheikh Ahmed Gumi are becoming more confident, and are irresponsibly mobilising opposition against declaring bandits terrorists,” the DG said.

“All the studies about insecurity have confirmed that the bandits operating in the north-west and north-central have all the characteristics of terrorist groups.

“For instance, a study by Dr. Murtala Ahmed Rufa’i, presented at the 15th Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto Seminar Series, on Thursday, September 9, 2021, titled, ‘I am a Bandit – A Decade of Research in Zamfara State Bandit’s Den’, reported that bandits are armed groups with ‘contacts across the Sahel, particularly Libya and Mali’, having ‘huge capital’, ‘in possession of more that 500 AK 47 guns’, and ‘own sophisticated weapons like RPGS and Anti-Aircraft.’ The report indicated that ‘there are over 60,000 weapons in circulation’ in the north-west alone.”

He said the ruling party must be able to manage information in such a way that it would not worsen the challenges facing the country.

“How APC can facilitate the reform of information management structures in the country to successfully mobilise Nigerians to support government initiatives will largely determine the electoral viability of the party,” Lukman said.

“Once APC continues to allow speculative and false national debates such as the issue of unfounded agreement between Nigeria and US government on the use of the A-29 newly acquired Super Tucano jets, it is indicative of a weak communication management framework, which may only worsen the challenges facing the country.”

The DG also said the current security challenges facing the country is a consequence of the collapse of the country’s educational system.

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