Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu says what his principal has done to bandits is worse than declaring them terrorists.
Mr Shehu, revealing what has been done to the gunmen that is worst than declaring them terrorists, said the President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that any one seen bearing arms should be shot on sight.
He said progress has been recorded since the order was issued in March and reiterated in May and June.
Despite the order, banditry continues to thrive mostly in the Northern part of the country. Bandits occasionally abduct school children and demand for ransom which is usually paid before captors are set free.
The latest of such reoccurring developments took place on Friday evening when the criminals released another batch of students abducted in Kaduna after ransom payment.
“What the Buhari administration has done to the arms-wielding bandits is worse than being declared as terrorists,” the president’s mouthpiece said in an interview with BBC Pidgin on Saturday. “Do you know that there is a subsisting order by the President that any arms-wielding, AK-47 bandits should be shot on sight.
“I am saying yes, IPOB has been proscribed by law of the land, there is no shoot-on-sight order on IPOB. There is nothing to suggest that these bandits are treated preferentially.
“The Nigerian Air Force is busy bombing locations, the military is there on the ground, exchanging fire for fire, taking them out in hundreds, that is certainly not treating them (bandits) lightly.
“Before President Muhammadu Buhari [assumed office] many Nigerians could not worship on Fridays, mosques were being bombed, on Sundays churches were being bombed, motor parks and public gatherings,” he added.