Like their counterparts in the Senate, members of the House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Nigerian government to designate bandits as terrorists.
The Senate on Wednesday made the same resolution on bandits after a deliberation on a motion on the activities of bandits in Sokoto State – sponsored by Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto East).
The Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos), moved a motion on the floor of the House urging the government to declare bandits as terrorists.
In his motion, Mr Benson said the move will “underline the determination of the government to combat the wave of criminality and murders conducted by bandits all over the country,” he said.
He noted that it will serve as a brave impetus to the military in the fight against criminality in the region.
The lawmaker said declaring bandits terrorists will help to prosecute bandits under the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended).
He noted that all known bandits be declared wanted and arrested wherever they are found for speedy prosecution.
“Such declaration to be done through a Proscription Order can be done pursuant to section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 (As Amended)
“Such an order will officially bring the activities of bandits and their sponsors within the purvey of the Terrorism Prevention Act. And any person associated with such groups can then be prosecuted and sentenced to penalties in the Act.”
The House also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the security summit of the House. The lower legislative chambers held a security summit in May and submitted to the president.
The motion was adopted without a debate.
Renewed offensive against bandits
There have been renewed efforts against bandits in the North.
Some of the measures taken include shutting down telecommunications networks, close down of phone charging outlets, sale of fuel in jerry cans.
On Wednesday, the Kaduna State government also ordered telecommunications service providers to shut down telecommunications networks.