by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Plateau state governor, Barrister Simon Lalong, has granted pardon to 6 convicted persons for “good behavior.” This gesture is coming on the heels of the nation’s 60th Independence celebration.
Those granted pardon include Obinna John, who was initially sentenced to death by hanging, has served 8 years and his death sentence has been commuted to 21 years’ imprisonment.
Similarly, Lengka Kurji, Buhari Abubakar, David Luka and Ya’u Bala have been granted absolute pardon.
Governor Lalong announced this during a one-day Roundtable Discussion with community stakeholders to commemorate “Nigeria at 60, Diamond Independent Anniversary” at Government House Little Rayfield Jos.
Lalong stretched further, that, “The story of Nigeria may not reflect what our founding fathers had in mind when they fought for Independence, but I firmly believe that the present challenges confronting us as a country are a passing phase that is crucial to building a virile, peaceful and united country at the long run.
“We must, therefore, not despair but rather see this as a clarion call to deploy our human and material resources for the common good of Nigeria. ‘As we think Plateau, act Plateau,’ we must also think and act Nigeria. It is the only country we have and nobody can develop it for us or better than us.
“Our ability to always bounce back, even more stronger, each time we are knocked over by social-economic trials speaks volumes about our abiding faith, hope, resilience and determination to keep-a-date with destiny,” he stressed.
The governor emphasized, saying, “We are now enjoying substantial peace; we are not under the illusion that all the conflict issues in the state have completely been resolved. Government is very much aware of the security threats emanating from the legacies of decades of violence, which are being exploited by the merchants of evil to create chaos at all costs and at the expense of the lives of innocent citizens.
“As government has vowed that we will never budge in our duty towards protecting the lives and property of our people, no amount of blackmail and desperation will deter us from this task and draw the battle line with criminals and together with security agencies remain steadfast in securing our state,” Lalong noted.
Furthermore, the governor said, “With the theme of the 60th Independence Celebration, which is ‘Together we shall be,’ we have the opportunity at this roundtable to discuss and explore pathways in which the state government can work with you and other critical stakeholders to entrench the ideals of sustainable peace.
“We must work together to promote positive relations characterized by mutual respect where cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn and socialize together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance in all communities,” he stated.