As part of activities to mark the 61st independence, Ondo Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday granted state pardon to 18 convicted inmates serving term in various Correctional centres across the State.
A total of 26 death row inmates had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Akeredolu, Richard Olatunde, in a statement, said the Governor relied on the powers conferred on him by Paragraph (d) of sub-section (1) of Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
He said the convicts were released having shown remorse and good conduct at the correctional centres.
The statement charged the freed inmates to be of good conduct and live a crime-free life.
In a statewide Independence Day broadcast, Governor Akeredolu called for urgent restructuring of the country to reflect the diversity and address the various misunderstandings as well as high rate of criminality in the country.
Governor Akeredolu noted that the current system adopted in the county does not encourage ingenuity.
He warned that the country faces serious challenges bordering on redefinition.
Akeredolu said the unique diversity that supposed to be a source of strength was gradually becoming the country’s albatross.
His words: “Our country is blessed abundantly. There is hardly any part of this vastly endowed space that should not be self-sustaining. This land should not be a place where hunger, poverty and a general sense of lack predominate.
“We must be bold enough to interrogate why these challenges appear perennial. We must not shy away from the reality of our diversity which should, ordinarily, be a source of strength but is gradually becoming an albatross.
“The States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appear independent nominally at present. Serious attempts must be made to return our country to the path of progress trodden by the founding fathers.
“The security challenges bedeviling the country will become a thing of the past if proper devolution of powers is undertaken. The over centralization of the security architecture is a major impediment.
“Having a police command structure in a country of over 200 million is not sustainable. The attempts by some states to complement the efforts of the security agencies are at best tokenistic. Let each State be in charge of internal security in its locality.
“As a corollary to this submission, each region must be encouraged to take charge of the resources in its area. A system which permits strangers to take over the mineral resources in a place without any recourse to local authorities encourages dispossession and promotes misery and want. Development of any given space must be about the people.
“Our people must strive under a system which recognize their God-given talents and promotes unique initiatives. All federating units must be less dependent on the Federal Government for basic survival.”
(The Nation Newspaper)