The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, has backed the call that the Federal Government should proscribe bandits as terrorists.

NEF said the government should declare bandits as terrorists, if it would solve insecurity challenges.

NEF took the decision during its meeting under the leadership of its convener, Ango Abdullahi.

In a statement by its spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the forum urged the government to explore all options to end the menace.

According to Baba-Ahmed: “The Forum regrets that arguments over labelling bandits as terrorists wastes attention and energy.

“If labeling bandits as terrorists will substantially improve the capacity of the Nigerian state to eliminate this expanding scourge, the Forum supports it without reservation.

“In any case, all lawful options in bringing this menace to an end must be pursued. Measures put in place to contain its spread should be diligently monitored and evaluated, and those that merely worsen the condition of living of law-abiding population should be removed.

“Governments should be sensitive to the possibility of severe food shortage in the next few months in many Northern communities, in addition to escalating cost of living which will combine to confront the poor with intolerable conditions of living.”

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