Lai: Why bandits are different from IPOB, Boko Haram

Information Minister Lai Mohammed has differentiated between herdsmen-turned-bandits and the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and Boko Haram terrorist group troubling the country.

Featuring on TVC’s ‘This Morning’ the minister while defending why the administration is yet to label bandits as terrorists said they are not ideologically driven unlike the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and Boko Haram terrorists.

He recently denied speculations in some quarters that the criminals were getting preferential treatment under the Buhari administration.

“The difference between IPOB, Boko Haram on one side and bandits is that, while IPOB and Boko Haram are driven by ideology, a belief that they don’t want to be part Nigeria, bandits have no flags,” he explained. “Bandits have no flag. Bandits are simple criminals. There’s no difference between bandits and other criminals other than their ferocity.

“Bandits have never said they don’t believe in Nigeria, they are just pure criminals,” he added.

While IPOB is demanding the restoration of the defunct Biafra Republic, Boko Haram is fighting against the secular state of the nation, aiming to Islamize the country.

Both IPOB and Boko Haram were initially civil in their demands but turned violent when the federal government rather than dialogue opted to quell the agitations, a mission it is yet to successfully achieve despite the large chunk of funds channeled to it so far.