Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says herdsmen, who attack citizens, are criminal gangs but not terrorists.

Shehu said this in an interview on Channels TV on Thursday. He said the government did not declare herdsmen, who kill people, as terrorists because they are “only criminal gangs”.

However, he added that security agencies were dealing with criminal herdsmen according to the law.

“There is a difference between a criminal activity and a terrorist activity. Yes, some Fulani herdsmen are a criminal gang and they are being dealt with according to the law,” he said.

“But IPOB like Boko Haram has a territory they have carved out to themselves …as a sovereign state of its own…. They have shown the willingness to invade other neighbouring states. They have raised concerns in neighbouring Kogi and Benue states. They have said they are interested in taking over Bayelsa and Rivers. That is exactly what Boko Haram has done. This is not acceptable to the law of the country.”

Last Friday, the defence headquarters declared the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a “militant terrorist” organisation. South-east governors followed suit, proscribing the group.

Severe criticisms assailed the action of the military and the governors over its legality.

But on Wednesday, a federal high court in Abuja, gave an order outlawing the group.


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