By Bamidele Aturu
I have just learnt from very credible and knowledgeable sources that the Council of State has been requested by the President to grant pardon to some convicts including Mr. Diepreye Alamieseigha, the former Governor of Bayelsa State who was convicted for acts of corruption perpetrated while in office.
One cannot put such unthinkable gambit beyond this government or our elite, knowing their lack of interest in waging any war against corruption, serious or otherwise. So it is better to act before the rumour becomes reality and we start licking our wounds as a people.
If the plan is indeed afoot, one can only advise the Council of State not to dare. If it dares, Nigerians will have no choice but declare their own war against the government and the state in general.
Presidential pardon to those who were convicted, not of political offences but for dipping their dirty fingers in the common till, and pauperizing hardworking Nigerians in the process is nothing but jail break by the state.
It will signal the end of the existing phony war against corruption. Unless the government wants to be remembered as the one that officially institutionalize corruption, then the most honourable thing for it to do is to withdraw the provocative and shameless proposal before the Council of State.
I can assure the President that if he succeeds in getting the Council of State to go along with him he will have us, Nigerians whose resources the convicts looted and personalized, to contend with.
The government and its members will certainly live to regret the irresponsible decision. That is a promise. Civil society groups will do all in its power to show the whole world that those who claim to govern us are nothing but common crooks who deserve to be in jail.
In my view it is better to fling open the gates of all our prisons and ask all the inmates to walk out into the warm embrace of their relatives than pardon those who force otherwise decent Nigerians to take to crime as a way of life.
A word is enough for the wise.
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