Saturday, September 30, 2017 9:46 pm
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has said that he constantly seeks courage and conviction from God to sign the death sentences of convicted kidnappers in the state.
Umahi made the declaration on Saturday in Abakaliki during a media chat as part of activities to mark the 57 independence anniversary of the country and the 21 years of the state’s creation.
He said that he interacts with reverend fathers who operate rehabilitation programmes for convicted persons in Enugu and Abakaliki as they piled clemency pressure on him.
“When one, however, considers the underlying factors and circumstances surrounding their cases, you will not show mercy to them.
“We would continue to leave our hearts open to God to direct us on what to do but man’s inhumanity to man is condemnable and we are looking into the matter,” he said.
The governor expressed worry that inspite of the death sentence placed on kidnapping, the menace had not stopped in the state.
“It has, however, reduced because we have not witnessed more than two kidnapping cases since 2017 which was effectively handled by the relevant security agencies in the state.
“The culprits are presently standing trial for their offences and we would fortify the state’s entry points with solar-powered security gadgets for effective security.
“This will make it difficult for the kidnappers to take their victims away from the state, and I commend security agencies in the state for practically safeguarding the lives and properties of the people,” he said.
Umahi remarked that no prisoners would be pardoned during the independence celebration as the government would evolve a new modality to guide prisoners’ release.
“A department would be created to liaise with relevant prison authorities to ascertain the conduct of inmates seeking clemency and determine if they deserve to be pardoned.
“It will also interact with those whom the concerned inmates offended to ascertain whether they have forgiven the inmates while the inmate would be placed on two-year probation.
“The days when inmates who committed grievous crimes are released because they are related to government officials are gone as we want to ensure justice for all and check the rate of crime,” he said.
He said that the state would formulate a law to ban hate speeches and hold all petitioners and those who make frivolous allegation, liable for their actions.
“Anybody who makes accusations against another person will be made to prove them and this is to ensure that hate speeches are eradicated and people factfully prove their claims.
“I told the Kaduna State government to give us the modalities which ensured the success of such measures in the state and we are going to wholly implement these measures,” he said.
Umahi said that his government had completed the construction of over 200-km of internal roads in Abakaliki and expressed the desire to dualise the Abakaliki-Enugu, Abakaliki-Afikpo expressways among other major roads in the state.
“We would soon construct the biggest ecumenical centre and shopping malls in the country and immediately conduct series of dialogues with civil servants to enhance their welfare.
“We would ensure that political office holders are engaged in meaningful ventures as we have recorded giant strides in the health, education, sports, empowerment among other sectors,” he said.
Sen Emmanuel Onwe, Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, said the media chat was convened to buttress the governor’s belief in accountability and making the people part of his government.
“The citizens are free to ask questions of their choices in undiluted forms and there would be no reprisals or consequences from asking such questions and making comments,” he said. (NAN)