Executions In Indonesia

THE Indonesian Government on Tuesday, April 29, 2015 executed eight death row prisoners for drug offences.
Those executed were Indonesian Zainal Abidan, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerians, Sylvester Obieke Nwolise, Raheem Agbaje Salami and Okwudili Oyarinze and Ghanaian Martin Anderson.
The execution came on the heels of the earlier execution carried out on January 18, 2015 during which victims from Indonesia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Nigeria, Vietnam and Malawi were killed by firing squad.
In the latest development, the convicts were reportedly taken to the Nusakambangan Island where they were executed by firing squad.
The executions were effected by the Indonesian government in defiance of pleas by the Federal Government, United Nations, the European Union and Amnesty International, asking for mild punishment for the convicts.
Pleas for leniency from their families and diplomats were also turned down by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who doggedly stuck to the tenet of this country’s law which prescribed the death penalty for drug carriers.
In reaction to the executions, Australian Government withdrew its ambassador in protest against what it termed ‘cruel and unnecessary executions’. Brazil registered its disapproval, just as France vowed a diplomatic battle to save a citizen still on death row.
While justifying Indonesian law which stipulates death for drug offences, President Widodo said drugs constitute serious danger and threat to the entire spectrum of the country’s to existence, so the government was left with no other option than to rid the society of offenders by firing squad.
Although the Indonesian Government believes in death penalty for drug-related cases, the position has become unfashionable and out of tune with the trend in other parts of the world.
Perhaps, this explains why human rights activists have called on Indonesia to abolish the killings for drug offences. According to the activists, the United Nations did not endorse killings on drug trafficking.
To reinforce the stance of the United Nations, the European Union holds that the death penalty is not a solution to the rise in drug-related crimes in the society.
Whichever way and angle, nations and individuals may premise their views on this disturbing issue, we ought to be morally-bound to place blame on the door steps of the drug victims who knew full well the place of Indonesian law and decided to defy it. There is a saying that ‘No man is as blind as the man that refuses to see’.
However, it is heart disturbing that three Nigerians were among those that fell prey to the Indonesian drug law and were executed alongside five other citizens of other countries.
Moreover, we are saddened by this incident as it does not tell well of the image of Nigeria. No country will be at ease seeing some of its citizens whose characters at a glance should reflect decent and honest behavior which Nigeria stands for, being caught in the web of drug trade and executed ignominiously.
It is high time the youths who engage in one form of business or the other, either within or outside the shores of Nigeria, considered the image implications of such busineses before they venture into them.
They should be conscious of the fact that as citizens of Nigeria, they need to protect the image of the country by respecting the laws of other nations they visit.
Besides, they should acquaint themselves with of the laws of other countries and, at the same time travel to such, countries on genuine mission.
They should also avoid couriers of gifts they do not know their content.
Youths should be patient and go back to yesteryears orientation when know source of wealth attracted more value and dignity rather than pursuing wealth through dubious means.
Although the Federal Government has done its best in the circumstance by pleading for mercy for the executed Nigerians, it should go back to the drawing board by ensuring that laws and indiscipline and corruption in the country are strictly enforced to shape the lives and dispositions of the people.