Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, has said bandits will only be declared as terrorists when due process is followed.

Magashi stated this on Friday, while speaking with journalists in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

There have been calls for the federal government to declare bandits as terrorists, amid accusation that the government is handling bandits with “kid gloves”.

But, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had said the federal government’s approach is not to make a distinction between bandits and terrorists.

Magashi said: “We are not declaring them terrorists because there is a procedure for doing that.

“When the procedure is followed, they will be classified as terrorists. We are waiting for the procedure to be completed.”

The minister said he was in Maiduguri with the service chiefs to assess the ongoing fight against insurgency in the north-east.