The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor on Thursday administered confirmation sacrament to 50 inmates in the Awka Prison during a pastoral visit. The Bishop was accompanied
by the Anambra state governor, Mr. Peter Obi and his wife.
While addressing the gathering at the prison, the bishop called on the federal government to accelerate the Nigerian prisons system reforms maintaining that the present state of inadequate facilities in Nigerian prisons was unacceptable.
He lamented that 90 percent of the inmates were still awaiting trial and stressed the need for speedy dispensation of justice while protecting the fundamental human rights.
The bishop explained the reason for the visitation stating that it was to give the inmates a sense of belonging and encourage them towards reformation and proper integration into the society when they regain freedom.
He expressed his regret over the attitudes of some politicians towards the plight of Nigerian youths who form the bulk of inmates in prisons.
The state governor towed the line of the bishop in condemning the activities of some politicians in exploiting the condition of unemployed youths to expose them to crime and urged parents to see that their wards are productive and not thugs.
Mr. Obi enjoined the Awka prison management to engage the inmates in agricultural activities so as to be productive while assuring of his full support in the course.
The Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial Zone, Senator Andy Uba, represented by the director of his charity foundation made donations of materials to the inmates and decried the level of decay inside the prison.
The Catholic Diocese also added a bus donation to the prison authority to help ease transportation difficulty in conveying the inmates to court.
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