Catholic Bishop condemns the execution of four death row prisoners in Nigeria
The Bishop of Oyo in Nigeria, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, has condemned the recent execution of death row prisoners saying it violated the right to life. The executions of four criminals were carried out in Benin city state on Monday after their death warrants were signed by President Goodluck Jonathan and State governors. The four were sentenced to death in 1997 by a court of law, but they were not hanged because Nigeria started observing a seven-year suspension of the death penalty. Bishop Badejo said on Thursday that life is the most precious gift human beings have received from God. He explained that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and we must be given the opportunity to start over when we go wrong. He expressed concern that a return of the death penalty risks aggravating a culture of violence in Nigeria which is at war with Boko Haram Islamic militants. Reports from the country indicate that the crime rate has risen high and that president Goodluck Jonathan is under pressure from the public to show that his government can protect the people and their property. The last executions of criminals in Nigeria took place in 2006.