A former ally of President Buhari, Buba Galadima, has dismissed the branding of bandits as terrorists by the Federal Government, saying it is a waste of time.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal high court in Abuja last week declared the activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups as acts of terrorism.
Reacting to this development, Galadima in an interview with Vanguard, said;
”In all honesty, don’t you think it is a waste of time? There are implications for this declaration. Those who declared these bandits as illegal or outlaws suggest that they know who the bandits are and have not done anything about them. For me, it’s a waste of time and a show of ignorance on the part of those who did that because I don’t know who answers bandits, whether they have address or location in such a manner that when they do banditry, you know where you can arrest them.
The highest the authorities could have done is to propagate an act or law saying that anyone caught doing banditry would face public execution or firing squad or whatever. But you can’t declare somebody without an address, without name an outlaw. You can only deal with the action. The action of banditry can be tackled. If you catch somebody in the act, you can deal with the person, but not outlaw the person because the people are faceless. If you outlaw bandits, you are telling us that all along you know who they are, you have been lying and you are in synergy with them.”
When reminded that Sheik Gumi has over time interfaced with the bandits and made a case for them, Galadima said;
”Do you mean that there are people who don’t know IPOB? How about those who went to the President to request the release of Nnamdi Kanu who is the professed leader of IPOB? Why didn’t they arrest those people if you are arresting Sheik Gumi?”
When asked if he was comparing bandits with IPOB, he responded
”I am not comparing them because IPOB is a known organization, they have leaders who are known, they have account numbers and people are even paying into the bank account abroad and inside Nigeria to facilitate their activity. Is there any bandit with a bank account that you know?
So, I am not comparing bandits with IPOB because IPOB is known while the other is faceless but their actions may be similar. Bandits have no known bank account.
IPOB is not chasing away people from their homes and communities and occupying them like bandits are doing in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the North”.