The story of the british man that was recently executed in China has again saddened me, firstly because I do not believe in the death sentence at all.
But the sad part is not the execution itself, which is quite common for China, which has the highest rate of execution in the world. It is the way the British people, including Gordon Brown fought endlessly to get him pardoned up until his eventual execution. It was all over the news, pettitions were signed, appeal upon appeal made, and eventually diplomatic pleas. Gordon Brown personally phones the Chinese President to request a pardon, and gave a statement this morning saying:
"I condemn the execution of Akmal Shaikh in the strongest terms, and am appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted."
That is what you call Value for Life. There are hundreds and hundreds of Nigerians in prisons around the world, including China, and there is nothing being done about it. Even if they are not eventually pardoned, because afterall, it is their country and they have complete jurisdiction, it is still important to show we fight for our people. In april this year an Igbo man, Mr Ezekwem was executed for Nigerians' favourite crime in China, drug trafficking. In June 2008, two Nigerians were executed in Indonesia for trafficking in hard drugs and 18 are still on the death row in that country.
But what is to be expected for a country that has no respect from the International community. Although these countries are notorious for their executions, as shown with the ignored pleas of Gordon Brown, it just another illustration of Nigeria's terrible image abroad.
How can we rebrand Nigeria when we have so many of these problems??
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