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Capital Punishment: Primate berates Amnesty International

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ABUJA – PRIMATE, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh has berated Amnesty International (AI) for condemning Edo State government over the recent execution of death sentence on four inma-tes in Benin.

The primate who urged the Federal Government not to allow itself to be gagged by anybody, also called for the imposition of capital punishment on perpetrators of crimes, including rape and killing.

In June, after their death warrants were signed by the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the inmates— Osaremwinda Aigbuohian and Daniel Nsofor—whose lawyers have been struggling to obtain a stay of execution on the death sentence; and two other convicts whose identities are yet to be ascertained were hanged in Benin, the action that generated criticism by both local and international bodies.

Okoh who was speaking at a press conference in Abuja noted that the human rights body had no justification to cri-ticize the government’s action, as they were neither directly nor indirectly affected by the action of those inmates.

He warned that the government should not allow anybo-dy or organization to teach it what morality is, insisting that, “the law of capital punishment for those who rightly deserve it should be enforc-ed”.

Painting a scenario, where a victim of armed robbery was brutalised, raped and finally killed by the gang, the primate rhetorically asked “where is the human right of this woman? Meanwhile, the armed robbers involved had been executed, and 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 morals. For me, anybody who has degenerated to the 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. The difference bet-ween our society and society outside is that, we have laws which are not enforced. Nigerians outside obey laws, but as soon as they come back here, they feel above the law because if they contravene the law and law enforcing agents 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 supports it, and the government cannot abdicate from punishing crime in the name of Amnesty International,” he said.

On insecurity, Okoh maintained that insecurity persists in Nigeria because politicians are playing politics with it.

“We must not play politics with our security. Its never done any where in the world. We need to ensure that our security organisation is well organised.”

Okoh also advised young ladies to avoid indecent dressing and nudity in order to avoid being sexually harassed, calling on religious leaders to emphasise the teaching of morality.

He said, “Rape is becoming an embarrassing situation in this country and as religious leaders, we must continue to preach against deviant behaviours. We must continue to support marriage in order to build a decent society. Tendency to glorify nudity is not part of our culture and we must intensify moral teaching in the Church and at home”.

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