The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said bandits cannot be proscribed in Nigeria because they don’t go by any name.
Mohammed who made this known in an interview on AIT’s Kaakaki programme monitored by The PUNCH on Wednesday said proscribing the bandits is not what really matters but how they are treated.
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.”
Mohammed also pointed out that there is a difference between the bandits and the Indigenous People of Biafra, a group that has been proscribed by the Federal Government.
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 aren’t also threatening the sovereignty of Nigeria by taking up arms against the citizens, the Minister said the cases are completely different.
He said, “Security challenges are one thing. Challenging the sovereignty of Nigeria is a completely 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?”