It could not have been more than mere diplomatic routine when External Affairs Minister, Geoffery Onyeama, summoned Indonesian ambassador in Nigeria after the execution of two more Nigerians in Djakata for alleged drug offences. Indonesia should have no qualms and should disregard whatever protests from Nigeria, if any, in enforcing the death penalty against more Nigerian convicts in that country. Death penalty for drug offences in Indonesia is neither new nor specified for Nigerians only. In fact, even Indonesians are, when the need arises, subjected to the same punishment. Why, therefore, should Indonesia treat Nigerian violators of that country’s anti-drug laws with leniency?
The truth is that, by nature, these Nigerian drug peddlers are recidivists, embarrassing and defaming the country in different parts of the world. And then, the cheek in some quarters, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to plead with his Indonesian counterpart to commute the death sentences on Nigerians? Buhari would only set himself up for humiliation because the Indonesians would remind him that over thirty years ago, as a military ruler, he (Buhari) not only issued a decree stipulating death penalty for drug offences but indeed, carried out the sentence. What, therefore, has changed in Nigeria to warrant any mercy? Drug peddling has grown out of control among Nigerians such that transformed them to be notorious all over the world.
To be fair to Buhari, he stood firm in those days on the death penalty for drug peddlers and there is nothing to indicate he is now soft on the issue. One way he can help himself and Nigeria is to re-affirm himself publicly on the issue at any given opportunity. Those who stand to lose their lives are those who violate the laws against drug business in those countries concerned. If we had firmly enforced the law on drugs in Nigeria, those involved would not have risked being caught in other countries. Nigeria owes the duty to allow other countries to enforce their laws in areas we failed woefully.
By the way, there is the falsehood that only eastern Nigerians are involved. Among Nigerians executed in Indonesia in the last before the latest executions was a Nigerian from Ijebu-Ode who, as part of his plan, assumed Ghanaian nationality, travelled under that guise and was convicted as a Ghanaian, only to betray himself when visited in his death cell by Ghanaian diplomats. A vivid example of the criminal tendency of Nigerians.