Killing criminals will deter others.
The Chief Orientation and Mobilisation Officer in the National Orientation Agency, NOA, Mathew Odonor, said in Abakaliki on Friday that capital punishment was not an aberration in the country. He also said the agency would commence awareness programmes to educate Nigerians on the usefulness of capital punishment.
Mr. Odonor said that capital punishment was in line with the country’s legal system. He said the execution of convicted criminals was a duty state governments owed the citizenry to re-assure them of the safety of their lives and deter other criminals from wanton killing of innocent citizens.
He said that every country had its cultural values, norms, and laws enshrined in its legal system to preserve and regulate the behaviours of every member of the society.
“We have value for human life and our law says that whoever kills must be killed. This is just the position of our legal system and we should not shy away from doing the right thing. I believe that violent crimes will reduce when those in charge of enforcing our laws start doing what is expected of them,” Mr. Odonor said.
He said the recent directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to state governors to sign death warrants was in the interest of the country, adding that it would further de-congest the prisons. He also said the upsurge in violent crimes in the society was due to non execution of convicted criminals.
Mr. Odonor said the NOA was articulating a sensitisation programme to educate the public and create awareness on the importance of capital punishment as an instrument in curtailing criminal vices in the society.
The killing of four death row inmates in Edo after a seven-year moratorium by Nigeria on capital punishment had stirred the debate on the appropriateness or otherwise of capital punishment. The executions were condemned by local and international groups and Western governments, while the Nigerian government defended the decision.