NIGERIA: Capital Punishment, Don’t Be Gagged, Anglican Primate Tells FG

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The Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Tuesday, decried the condemnations that trailed the execution of four condemned prisoners in Benin City by the Edo State Government, urging the federal government not to allow itself to be gagged by anybody.

Reacting to questions at a press conference in Abuja, the Primate noted that Amnesty International had no justification to criticise the government’s action, as they were neither directly nor indirectly affected by the action of the inmates.

He warned that the federal government should not allow anybody or organisation to teach it what morality is all about, insisting that, “the law on capital punishment for those who rightly deserve it should be enforced.”

Painting a scenario where a victim of armed robbery was brutalised, raped and finally killed by the gang, the primate rhetorically asked “now where is the human right of this woman? Meanwhile, the armed robbers involved in that had been executed, and the people are crying for the human rights of the armed robbers.

“What I am saying is that the federal government should not allow people to teach them moral in our society. If somebody can afford to kill 79 people and they just sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment, if they think that is acceptable to them, it is okay, but here I think it is not okay.

“So, for me, anybody who has degenerated to that level of depravity deserves capital punishment and it should be enforced.”
“It is not true to say that punishment does not deter crime, it does. One of the differences between society here and society outside is that, we have so many laws which are not enforced, if you see a Nigerian outside they obey the law, but as soon as they come back here, they feel above the law, if they do any thing contrary to the law and the people approach them, they will say ‘do you know who I am?’

“So, punishment must be effected and that is the essence of government, the bible supported it, and the government cannot abdicate from punishing crime in the name of amnesty international or whatever.”

On the issue of security, Okoh maintained that insecurity persistent in the country because politicians were playing politics with it.

“We must not play politics with our security, it is never done any where in the world, we need to ensure that our security is good and well organised, then, we will have time for other things. I want to say that to some extend, our politicians play politics with the security issue in Nigeria, and that is why it has lingered for so long.”

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