DEATH penalty proposed by some members of the National Assembly for oil thieves in Nigeria has generated a lot of controversy among Nigerians. Some are of the opinion that the punishment would deter potential thieves, while others believe that the punishment would not address the problem in the oil and gas sector. Below are the views of some Nigerians on the proposed bill.
Chukwudi Idukpo, Engineer: I think life imprisonment would reduce the situation in the country. I’m not in support of death sentence which the National Assembly is proposing. If government approves death penalty for oil theft, what would be the punishment for political office holders who are emblazing public funds entrusted in their care?
Ifeanyichukwu Robinson, Accountant: I think life imprisonment will be enough. Government should start with those indicted in the fuel subsidy fraud; that is the only way I will believe they want to stop the problem of oil theft in the country.
Raphael Anigbo, Engineer: Government knows what the appropriate punishment should be, but it does not want to do anything because top public officers are involved in one way or the other. I think death penalty should serve them well and caution others.
Kenechukwu Amadihe, Musician: Oil is the problem of this country. If we don’t device a means to put a stop to oil theft, all these problems the country is facing will continue. I’m in support of the death penalty being proposed by the National Assembly because that is the only way forward.
Godwin Ikenna, Student: Government should handle the case the way it handles cases of armed robbers. If the offence they committed warrants life imprisonment, they should go in for it and if it is death penalty fine. My opinion is that government should not adopt one particular punishment for all of them.
Chukwuma Ejigonu, Civil Servant: What Nigerians need now is the best, if life imprisonment is the best; I’m in support of it. If its death penalty fine, but either way, the law should be applicable to everybody irrespective of the person’s status or position in the society.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Apr. 15, 2013 @ 01:00GMT