18 Nigerians face execution in Indonesia tomorrow

Eighteen Nigerians have a date with the executioner tomorrow in the Asian state of Indonesia, except President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is currently on a visit to Nigeria, intervenes.
Olugbenga Ashiru

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday pleaded with his Indonesian counterpart to stop the execution of the Nigerians who were convicted for drug-related offences.

He was yet to give any commitment before the two leaders went for a state dinner last night in Abuja.

Apart from the 18, 30 other Nigerians are on the death row in that country for drug trafficking.

Jonathan, who made the plea during a bilateral discussion with the Indonesian President in Abuja, demanded a bilateral tie on exchange of prisoners by both countries.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a tweet last night said his principal was concerned about the planned execution.

Abati said: “President Jonathan requested for a stay of execution of Nigerians on death row in Indonesia while both explore agreement on exchange of prisoners.

“Both leaders agreed to support each other also on the basis of reciprocity for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the period 2014/2015-2016.

“They discussed re-election of Kanayo Nwanze of IFAD and candidature of Mari Pangestu for DG WTO and agreed to support each other’s candidate.

“The presidents pledged to work together towards attaining a more balanced and mutually beneficial relationship between Nigeria and Indonesia. The two presidents agreed that Nigeria and Indonesia will share best practices and capacity building in the achievement of MDGs.”

A source said: “The Indonesian leader has not made any commitment on Jonathan’s plea because of his country’s strict laws on drug trafficking.

“We are hopeful that the execution will not hold on Monday. We do not know if there will be any waiver eventually.”

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the visiting President was accompanied by 99 Indonesian businessmen. On arrival, Yudhoyono inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Brigade of Guards, and also a 21 gun-salute in his honour.

The FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, said that the two-day visit of the Indonesian President would strengthen the bilateral relations existing between the two countries.

After their bilateral discussions, President Jonathan pointed out the importance of the conference and the visit, stressing that it has become evident that most countries might not be able to meet up with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He said: “We discussed areas that we can work together, like food, agriculture, energy, politics and security, particularly, in international peace keeping operations.”

Both leaders also agreed to promote training cooperation involving military officers of both countries by encouraging participation of Indonesian and Nigerian military officers in training programmes at the staff colleges of both countries.

The two leaders discussed the conflicts in Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and the Sahel, and the correlation between these and the war on terror. They shared the view that terrorism remains a global security threat. They, therefore, agreed to foster closer bilateral partnership to address this threat by cooperating closely in exchange of information, training and education as well as sharing of best practices. The two leaders instructed the relevant agencies of both countries to assess counter-terrorism needs upon which bilateral collaboration would be appropriately developed.

The Nation

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