By Eneruvie Enakoko

The Presidential Pardon granted by President Jonathan few days ago to Alamieyeseigha and others didn’t come as a surprise to us, and we wonder why it is for many both here at home and abroad. From the outset, we knew the character of the man the majority of Nigerians chose or elected to become their president in 2011 due chiefly to sentiments, and we didn’t mince our words in sounding the warning but as is often the case, no one listened; today we are reaping the fruit of our choice, the Presidency has been reduced to an ethnic affair. Why is it so difficult to understand that this Administration is corruption personified? Issue after issue has evidently shown that this Administration will never combat corruption; it will rather swim in it and shield corrupt officials. Even the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicted this Administration when last year, it clearly stated in the Annual General Meeting of the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) that the reason why the Commission has become so ineffective and sloppy is due to lack of political will and support from the Administration.

But let us be clear on this issue: the Presidential Pardon thing is not necessarily a constitutional issue but a crucial moral issue. The President has the constitutional powers to grant pardon, but he has chosen to abuse those powers. Regretfully, he has by his immoral abuse of his constitutional powers set a dangerous precedent for present and future generations of Nigerians who will now see nothing wrong with stealing, pilfering and looting of our patrimony and commonwealth; after all, they can always in the end get needless plea bargains, buy justice in the courts or get presidential pardons by simply getting close to the corridors of power. So the big issue really is not whether the President has constitutional powers to grant pardon; the real issue is whether he has the right to abuse those constitutional powers by making a mockery of the constitution and of our justice system, and granting pardon to hardened and unrepentant criminals, paedophiles and others who have raped our collectivity, and then try to make the Pardon credible by including names of notable Nigerians who were persecuted under military juntas.

On this issue, there is only one demand that we make on the President. He should advise his Propagandist, Dr. Doyin Okupe to desist further from insulting the intelligence of the Nigerian people; the President is not our parent who by his whims and caprices solely decides what we want; in fact most parents don’t do that. Dr. Okupe must realise that the President and other public officials, elected or otherwise, are only first among equals; every Nigerian has an equal stake in this patrimony. We have no other demand to make on the Administration on this issue because ultimately, it is up to the Nigerian people to decide what they want to do, and we hope they will rise to the occasion even if not for themselves but for their children and unborn generations

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