Mohammed Sani Musa, senator representing Niger East district, has asked the federal government to be ruthless with bandits.
Musa said this on Wednesday on Channels Television, while responding to questions on how things have fared in his constituency and Niger State in general.
The lawmaker said the state experienced relative peace for a while, but things have now worsened.
“In the last six months, it was very bad. Not until when the new service chiefs came and there was some kind of action, different from what they were doing before. And we had some kind of peace for some time, until now, when the terrorists all went back”, he said.
“It seems they all went back to Zamfara, which seems to be the epicentre of it. So, when they all went back to Zamfara, and the government decided to hit them in Zamfara, they’re now spreading. We had some peace in the last two months, but now, they’re back and they’re very ruthless. So, we also want the government to be very ruthless with them”.
He also said the federal government should invite Kaduna-based cleric, Ahmad Gumi, for questioning over his easy access to bandits.
The senator, who insisted that “there is a need to declare these bandits as terrorists”, wondered why Gumi has not helped the government with information on addressing banditry.
“I won’t say we know them (referring to bandits). Just as we said, they have cells and they have a kind of leadership structure in the cell,” he stated.
“I recall that one of the renowned Islamic scholars, sheikh Gumi, was at a time going into the forests to be with these people.
“I think somebody like Gumi should be asked how he has contacts to reach these people. And if he can reach these people, why is it that he has not been able to help the government in order to get these people neutralised?”