Literature review on banditry

Conceptual and empirical framework of banditry

Literature review on banditry

Conceptually, banditry is a derivative of the term bandit meaning an unlawful armed group terrorising people and confiscating their properties. It is synonymous with the establishment of gang groups who use small and light weapons to carry out attacks against people. In this regard, banditry could mean a set-up criminal activity deliberately designed and carried out for personal gains. Due to the complex nature of bandits’ activities, ((Egwu, S. (2016). The political economy of rural banditry in contemporary Nigeria. In Kuna, M.J and Ibrahim, J (eds.). Rural banditry and conflicts in northern Nigeria, Abuja: Centre for Democracy and Development.))

in a restricted manner, described banditry as a practice of stealing cattle and animals from herders or raiding of cattle from their ranches. In the same vein, banditry is reflected in criminal escapades like cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug abuse, arson, rape and the brazen and gruesome massacre of people of agrarian communities with sophisticated weapons by suspected herdsmen and reprisal attacks from surviving victims, a development that has been brought to the front burner of national security (Uche & Iwuamadi, 2018). In his perception, (( Shalangwa, M. W. 2013. The nature and consequences of armed banditry in border communities of Adamawa State, Nigeria. M.Sc. thesis submitted to the School of Post-Graduate Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.))

regards banditry as the practice of raiding and attacking victims by members of an armed group, whether or not premeditated, using weapons of offence or defense, especially in semi-organised groups for the purpose of overpowering the victim and obtaining loot or achieving some political goals. Such bandits are usually perceived as outlaws, desperate and lawless marauders who do not have a definite residence or destination but roam around the forest and mountains to avoid being identified, detected and arrested.

However, where the term banditry is connected to rural, it implies a group of rural outlawed involved in illicit activities such as raiding of villages, kidnappings and cattle rustling for primitive accumulation of wealth. Thus, bandits are gang groups terrorising and dispossessing local people or travellers of their valuable items or properties such as merchandise, money, cattle, camel, and sheep, among others. They operate within and along rural borders with the assistance of their local collaborators including in some cases, state agents deployed to work for the safety and security of the people (( Abdullahi, A. (2019). Rural banditry, regional security, and integration in West Africa. Journal of Social and Political Sciences, 2(3), 644-654 ))

In another sense, banditry refers to the incidences of armed robbery or allied violent crimes, such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, and village or market raids. It involves the use of force, or threat to that effect, to intimidate a person or a group of persons in order to rob, rape or kill (( Okoli, A. C. & Ogayi, C. O. (2018). Herdsmen militancy and humanitarian crisis in Nigeria: A theoretical briefing. African Security Review, 27(2), 129-143.))

Economic or political interests motivate banditry. The former refers to banditries motivated by the imperative of material accumulation while the latter has to do with those driven by the quest to rob, to assault or to liquidate a person or a group of persons based on political or ideological dispositions (( Okoli, A. C. & Ugwu, A. C. (2019). Of marauders and brigands: Scoping the threat of rural banditry in Nigeria‟s north west. Brazilian Journal of African Studies, 4(8), 201-222 ))

Thus banditry, in the context of this paper, is defined as the totality of incidences of armed robbery or allied violent crimes, such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, village raids as well as highway raids which involves the use of force, or threat to that effect, to intimidate a person or a group of persons in order to rob, rape, kidnap or kill the victims.

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