Presidential Pardon is Necessary for National Peace, By Abdullahi Abdullateef

NEWS DIGEST – Knowing vividly that the Presidential pardon cleansing the convicted former State Governors has generated a great deal of commotion from all fronts. Some stakeholders have countered this move claiming it is the worst fight against corruption.

In my view, we need to understand political life from the standpoint of behaviourism which likened the scientific character to the study of politics. If we could recall in 2019 and sometimes in 2021, A coalition of Northern Group begs the Federal Government to release the former Governor of Plateau, Mr Joshua Dariye on peace-keeping grounds. Some may trade words with this group that they are corrupt people allies because of their cynical views. The group tries to persuade Mr President to extend the presidential pardon on the said convict so that some tribes who think that they have been marginalised within the northern region can come together as one Nigeria.

Certainly, there is no gainsaying that the presidential Pardon is indeed a welcome development in maintaining working correctional centres in the country. Although those who slam this move are oblivious of other convicts included in the list.

Based on Section 175 of the Constitution, which confers presidential Pardon after thorough consultation with the Council of State – an independent body comprised of people with High standing ethos- then the President pardons a list of 159 convicts and 10,000 inmates are pardoned too.

However, it is inappropriate to counter the president’s directive on every occasion. Before you respond to any issue put emotion apart and stick to the boiling ring of nationalism for the benefit of generality.

I have encountered copious articles refuting the presidential pardon for the former state actors. To solidify my view, a statement issued by a civil society claimed that this is the first that this administration will include political class or people of high Calibre in its presidential pardon since 2015.

I support the presidential pardon because it is a sine qua non to relieve people hurt by the unfolding catastrophe in the country and for the two former state actors, I observe that this is not sinister to realise a multitude of corrupt practices in the future but a move to reconsider action taken earlier with the main purpose to attain national peace.

Abdullahi Abdullateef writes from Lagos and can be reached via [email protected]

Editor’s note: This opinion has been published on News Digest with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author.