The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Thursday said the military was yet to obliterate bandits, now terrorists, operating in the northwest over human rights concerns that may evolve into a legal battle at the International Court of Justice.
El-Rufai revealed this while speaking at the weekly ministerial press briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, monitored by Headlinenews.news.
According to him, while he had campaigned for the bandits to be classified as terrorists, there were some resistance on the grounds that they were void of a recognised leadership structure.
The Governor, however, expressed delight over the court ruling, which recently declared the bandits as terrorists and therefore made them “a fair game.”
He said, “As far back as 2017, we saw the dangers of this and we made representation to the Federal Government to declare these bandits as terrorists. But they were advised that since they don’t have a single command and control the way Boko Haram, ISWAP and terrorists have, it is difficult to declare them insurgents.
“But am happy that, you know, by the ruling of the Federal High Court, they are now declared terrorists and they are fair game. Because the military was afraid of bombing them and then, facing ICC. The media, civil society, always like to protect those that are at the receiving end of something, not looking at the victims of those people sometimes.
“You know, no General wants to retire and then you go to the US, they arrest you and they say you bombed civilian and so on. So, there is reluctance on the part of the military but with this declaration by the Federal High Court now, I think we can go after them