WORRIED by the manner amnesty is being granted in some states, the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has cautioned state governors to stop the abuse of granting amnesty to criminals.
National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, in Warri, Delta State, described as worrisome, the indiscriminate granting of amnesty to notorious criminals by governors in the guise of repentant militants.
“We want to strongly advise our state governors to be extremely careful so as not to abuse pardoning or granting amnesty to renowned cultists, political thugs and notorious criminals.
“These cultists, political thugs and notorious criminals were technically empowered by our corrupt political leaders for their selfish interests and now they are granting them amnesty indiscriminately. This is dangerous,” he alleged.
Comrade Mulade said that genuine agitators must be separated from criminals, adding: “We cannot know peace in the country when state governors are now encouraging criminality by granting amnesty to their used cultists, political thugs and notorious criminals”.
“A situation where criminals used by state governors to achieve their political goals are now being pardoned and given amnesty is not good enough for our society because we are encouraging criminality.
“These state governors must find another way of empowering the criminals they have used to get into power rather than abusing the amnesty,” he said.
Comrade Mulade warned that kidnappings, armed robbery, vandalism of oil facilities and other crimes would increase if care was not taken as a result of the abuse of amnesty by the state governors, adding; “Our youths will be tempted to go into crime because they will have it at the back of their minds that at the end of the day, they will be asked to surrender their arms and granted amnesty by our state governors.”
According to him, “Criminals must be punished for their crimes against the society if we must have a crime free society, but a situation where criminals are celebrated in our government houses in the name of surrendering arms and granting amnesty is worrisome and must be checked.”