By Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau has on occasion of the 60th Independence of Nigeria pardon five prisoners, including a convict who was sentenced to death by hanging, Obinna John.
“Obinna John, initially sentenced to Death by hanging. Having served 8 years, his death sentence has been commuted to 21 years imprisonment.
Lengka Kurji, earlier sentenced to 36 months imprisonment, having served 2 years and 9 months, has been granted absolute pardon.
Buhari Abubakar, initially sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, having served 2 years and 10 months, has been granted absolute pardon.
David Luka initially sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, having served 2 years and 11 months, is hereby granted absolute pardon.
Ya’u Bala initially sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, having served 2 years 8 months has also been granted absolute pardon.”
The governor stated this, at new government house Jos, during a roundtable peace discussion with community leaders as part of activities to commemorate Nigeria 60 years of Independence.
Governor Lalong charged the former prisoners to have a change of heart toward committing evil act.
“It is hoped that the affected persons will take advantage of this opportunity to chart a new course for themselves and work for the progress of the nation.”
Governor Lalong however lamented recent skirmishes in the state, which led to the death of seven people, including a community leader and an official of DSS in a gun battle with suspected rubbers.
Lalong stressed that “as a government, we have vowed that we will never budge in our duty towards protecting the lives and properties of our people. No amount of blackmail and desperation will deter us from this task. We have drawn the battle line with criminals and together with security agencies remain steadfast in securing our State.
This explains why for example, arrests have already been made over the recent incidences relating to killing of a Traditional Ruler in Foron District, Barkin Ladi LGA; the Killing of a DSS operative in Shendam; as well as the killing of 5 people in Vwang District of Jos South Local Government among others.” The governor explained
The governor pledged prosecution of the perpetrators.
“These perpetrators and their sponsors will soon be brought before the law.”
Lalong said his administration is committed to ensuring a peaceful Plateau state
“It was against this background that we established the Plateau Peace Building Agency as well as took several other steps to arrest the vicious cycle of violence that militated against the socio-economic development of our people.”
In a key note address, a peace advocate in Plateau, the Director center for management and peace studies University of Jos, Prof Danny McCain said the event is apt and timely.
Prof McCain, who said have live several years in Plateau state urged for sustainability of the relative peace being enjoyed in the state.
It was noted that Prof McCain had devoted much of his writing, teachings on peaceful and harmonious co-existence in Plateau state.
The event was organized by the director general, Plateau Peace Building Agency Joseph Lengmang.
A communique is expected at the end of the one day roundtable peace discussion.