President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies to shoot anyone carrying an AK-47 rifle.
His spokesman, Garba Shehu, made the announcement in an interview with the BBC Hausa.
Buhari also directed the suppression of bandits who refused to surrender.
“The president has ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47,” Shehu said.
Bandits have been terrorizing Northwestern states in recent years. The outlaws engage in murders and kidnap for ransom.
In February, Halilu Sububu, a bandit leader, said daily attacks were caused by a breach of agreement.
Sububu asked President Buhari to personally visit them talks.