From, Femi Oyelola Kaduna
In the spirit of the Independence Day celebration, Kaduna state Governor Nasir El Rufai has extended various degrees of amnesty to 24 convicted persons.
He disclosed this in his speech to mark the 58 years independence anniversary of the country.
The Governor said he has approved the release of 19 prisoners, and further commuted the life sentences of three others to five years’ imprisonment. The death sentence on two convicts have also been commuted to life imprisonment.
According to him, based on the powers granted by Section 212 of the Constitution, he have accepted the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy. “Most beneficiaries of this amnesty are long-term convicts that have served at least 10 years of their sentence or convicts with less than six months to complete their sentences,” the governor said.
ElRufai also paid tribute to Nigeria military and security forces for the successes recorded against Boko Haram terror.
“We wish them similar success in tackling the scourge of kidnapping, robbery and banditry that is menacing many of our communities.
“We acknowledge the pain caused to victims and their families, and we assure them that we are doing our best to address these challenges. The Kaduna State Government is supporting the security agencies with vehicles and other logistics to better protect us.
“.This task of developing our country and expanding opportunity for our people require an atmosphere of harmony. Let us apply our energy and intellect into finding and implementing solutions that promote equal opportunity for our people, deliver quality education and decent healthcare and supports investments, jobs and infrastructure.
“To be so fixated as we are on religion and ethnicity, focusing on how people worship or where they are from, rather than their ability, is a self-indulgent luxury that we cannot afford.
“There is an urgency to establish a meritocracy, a society that rewards talent and initiative, promotes social mobility and gives everyone an equal chance to develop their potentials and seize opportunities. We cannot avoid this task, so the sooner we ignored distractions and get back to what matters, the better for us all.
“Across our country, there is clear evidence that the path of division and violence is a dead-end, yielding only pain and loss. In place of strife, let there be accord and conciliation among our peoples.
“Let us embrace a new paradigm that seeks only peaceful and lawful means of resolving differences. And let us work together to build a country that all we can be proud of,” He said