- Following incessant killings and kidnappings, the federal government took steps to secure a court order declaring bandits as terrorists
- The court obliged and recently outlawed the activities of groups linked to banditry and declared their activities as acts of terrorism
- Governor Ortom is of the opinion that the likes of Miyetti Allah and Fulani Nationality Movement should also be listed as terrorist organisations
Benue state - The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to declare Miyetti Allah Kautal H*re, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) as terrorist organisations.
Ortom made the call on Friday, December 3, while speaking at the wedding between Barristers Agatha Msurshima Tyokyaa and Uhamber Bamber in Makurdi, the state capital, PM News reports.
Court takes tough action against bandits
Ortom's suggestion is coming on the heels of the designation of bandits as terrorist organisations by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. The activities of groups linked to banditry and kidnapping were declared as acts of terrorism.
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Lending his voice to the declaration, the Benue state governor applauded the federal government for taking the decision.
He claimed that most bandits members of Miyetti Allah Kautal H*re, MACBAN and FUNAM and so the groups should be added to the list of terrorist organisations, The Nation reports.
"But I call on the federal government to include Miyetti Allah Kautal H*re, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN and Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM in the category of terrorists because those bandits are their members.”
Social media users divided over Ortom's opinion
Reacting to Ortom's suggestion, some Facebook users criticised the governor for owing salaries while others applauded him.
Saminu Lawan stated:
"Go and settle backlogs of unpaid salaries in your state so that poverty level and unemployment will reduce. You stubbornly started what you can't finish and now blaming miyetti Allah for your failures."
Hemen Princegab wrote:
"Declare Ortom incompetent for non-payment of salaries and pension benefits."
Iwolode Azeez Adelani:
"Ortom again? Buhari needs to plead with this guy. Lol"
Bright Obinnaya commented:
"He never fears Buhari. Always standing his ground with the truth."
UC Lucky added:
"I trust you sir, this is the only governor that can look through the eyes of Buhari and tell him the truth."
Sheikh Gumi says bandits are note terrorists
According to the cleric, while bandits are committing acts of terrorism, they cannot be referred to as terrorists.
Legit.ng reported that he condemned the consistent description of the bandits as terrorists by many Nigerians and security experts.
The Islamic cleric further noted that the term bandit is a vague description and there is no way one could be proscribing the gang or their activities.