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Will Nigerians Learn from the Indonesian Executions?

Barring last minute shift or change of mind, four Nigerian drug convicts will, alongside five others from Australia, France, Brazil and the Philippines, be executed by firing squad by the Indonesian authorities anytime from now. In spite of spirited efforts to discourage Nigerians from drug trafficking, many still persist in it, thus embarrassing family, friends and the nation at large.

The four Nigerians are Okwudili Oyatanze, aged 41; Jamiu Owolabi Abashin, aged 50 and otherwise referred to as Raheem Agbaje Salami by Indonesian authorities; Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, 47, and Martin Anderson, 50.

While the Indonesian authorities are right to insist that the Nigerians and nationals of other countries who violate its laws on drug trafficking be executed, not a few are worried that such executions have failed to dissuade Nigerians from the illicit trade. No week passes without the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arresting drug traffickers at airports across the country. Also, from out-side the country come re-ports on a regular basis of Nigerians being caught traf-ficking illicit drugs.

Unfortunately, when such persons are caught, they ei-ther blame poverty or the devil for their actions. Added to this those who are caught in countries outside Nigeria who expect that the govern-ment and other groups come to their rescue after com-mitting heinous crimes. But as the current case of the four Nigerians about to be executed in Indonesia has proved, there is a limit the Nigerian government or in-ternational bodies can go in seeking reprieve for persons who deliberately violate the laws of their host countries especially by trafficking of illicit drugs.

To avoid the consequences of the illicit trade, there is the need for Nigerians to al-ways walk the straight path. Individuals must embrace legitimate ways of making money and jettison the de-sire for quick wealth. The society must also refrain from according recognition to people of dubious means, whose source of wealth is shrouded in secrecy.

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