Ogun Governor Dapo Abiodun has approved the committal of six convicts on death row to life imprisonment and released 40 inmates.
The Governor made the pronouncement on Sunday while speaking at the June 12 commemorative anniversary and Nigeria’s Democracy Day at the M.K.O International Stadium, Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.
He explained the committal to life imprisonment and release of the convicted inmates is in accordance with the provisions of Sections 212 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) and Sections 4 and 5 of the Ogun State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy (Establishment Law), Laws of Ogun State 2006.
Abiodun, who called on Nigerians to draw strength from the 1993 general election and make the 2023 exercise even better, advocated stringent punishment for violators of due process in elections, declaring that
people’s ballots must count and be respected in 2023.
The Governor noted the struggles of June 12 as orchestrated by late MKO Abiola gave birth to the seamless democracy Nigeria has enjoyed in the last 29 years, emphasising that “only by upholding the tenets of democracy and ensuring its sustainability that we can truly honour the memory of those ideals that Chief MKO Abiola and others stood and died for”.
While saying that the process to a free, fair and credible election begins, among other things, with voters’ participation in the registration exercise, Abiodun stressed that for the 2023 general elections to be a huge success, every eligible Nigerian must register to vote and actually take part in voting on the day of election.
“While it is heart-warming to note that in the last 29 years, we have enjoyed seamless civilian-to-civilian transition, it is only by upholding the tenets of democracy and ensuring its sustainability that we can truly honour the memory of those ideals that Chief MKO Abiola and others stood and died for. People’s ballots must count and be respected, while violators of due process in elections ought to be dealt the full wrath of the law.
“If the ideals matter to us, religion and ethnicity too should not become campaign issues or determinants of who gets what, when, how in our body-politic or become primary considerations in our leadership recruitment and governance processes. I can envision how these Nigerians who gave their all would be cringing in their graves seeing us celebrating divisive vices and our do-or-die politicking”, the governor stated.