Many times, we must have heard on the news that a place was attacked by bandits or terrorists. While the two may seem a bit confusing some times, they are not the same and one should not be used in place of the other.
In this article we would examine these two terms and outline their differences, so that when one is used it will not be confused with the other.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, a bandit is a thief with a weapon, especially one belonging to a group that attacks people travelling through the country side.
In Nigeria, there have been many attacks from bandits especially in the Northern states. According to Wikipedia, the origin of the bandit conflict can be traced to the herder- farmer conflicts that plague Nigeria as far back as 2011.
Bandits in Nigeria engage in various ways to earn money. Sometimes, they ride into towns and villages on motorcycles, loot and kidnap anyone they see and sometimes where a person resists, they can be killed. It was reported that between 2011 and 2020, Nigerians had to pay at least 18 million to free family and friends.
Terrorists are defined by Oxford Languages to be people who use unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
According to Statista, Nigeria has one of the highest terrorism threat levels in the world. Even though there is a decrease in the terror related deaths, Nigeria was said to record the second highest number of people who died in terrorist attacks worldwide, after Afghanistan.
One very common terrorist organisation in Nigeria is Boko Haram, and the states in Nigeria mostly affected by Boko Haram attacks are located in the North. Some include Borno state, Adamawa state, Kaduna state, etc.
Members of a terrorist organisation, particularly proscribed groups like Boko haram when caught would be liable to the death penalty.