Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the Fulani bandits ravaging northern Nigeria are common bandits and not terrorists as many Nigerians want them declared by the federal government.
Adesina, in an interview with Vanguard on Saturday, said President Muhammadu Buhari refused to heed the call to declare them terrorists because they have no ideology.
“Who are terrorist? Terrorists more often than not levy war against a nation and they seek to seize territories and occupy them. That is a terrorist and that is why Boko Haram are terrorists, because at the time before this administration came, they were occupying a minimum of 17 local governments in this country and they wanted more. They wanted to take over the entire country and create a caliphate. They are terrorists. These ones, bandits, they have no ideology. No ideology. They are just interested in criminality for the sake of criminality. Robbing, raping, maiming, stealing, no ideology. Have you heard that they seized territory? They are not interested. So, but like I said, criminality is criminality. Eliminate all of them and that is what our security forces are doing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the presidential spokesman denied reports confirming the spread of Fulani armed bandits who kidnapped many civilians and killed thousands in parts of Nigeria.
He said, “they are not spreading. They are running. It is not as if they are spreading. You know they were concentrated on certain places before: Binin Gwarin side of Kaduna, there is a forest in Zamfara where they were, they were in the forest. But now that the battle was taken to them in those forests, they are now running. From Zamfara, they ran to Niger. A couple of weeks back when the heat was on them in Zamfara, they were trying to cross into Niger state and the military ambushed them and 42 of them were killed in that ambush.
“So, it’s not as if it’s spreading all over place but rather, they are running and as they run, they spread sorrow, tears and blood on the way but the whole country is not big enough for them, in fact, the whole world is not wide enough for them to run. Justice will catch up with them.”