… as Obiano pledges welfare package for inmates.
Inmates of Onitsha prisons will soon smile as Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State has assured them of the state government readiness to complete the on-going state-of-the-art skill acquisition centre within the prisons.
Addressing inmates during the 62 birthday of the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke which was held at the Prison yard yesterday, Governor Obiano assured the inmates on awaiting trial that the current judiciary strike in the state would be called off this week.
He stated that the government had directed that prison inmates would be beneficiaries of the new health insurance scheme in the state to stem their health challenges.
Gov. Obiano remarked that as part of the Archbishop’s birthday celebration the government would be donating over N500,000 worth of medicines and its accessories.
“Government will inspect and see what to do in terms of partnering with other stakeholders to make the skill acquisition centre bigger to contain more people and equipment for learning,’’ he assured.
The governor thanked the archbishop for his love and care for inmates, adding that the Cleric has shown tremendous love and care to the inmates.
Earlier in a homily, the Catholic Archbishop, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke observed that the Church would partner government and philanthropists to see that the on-going mega skill acquisition centre would be completed within three years.
The cleric noted that the centre would truly make the prisons a reformatory facility where people that go through it would have something to give when they are integrated into the society.
“I do not see this place as a prison but rather as a facility for reform as well as a place where one does a lot of reflection on one’s past life and see how to improve on it and live righteously.
“We should strive to move toward goodness in order to make the world better for the common good of all,’’ he enthused.
In a speech, the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Denis Isizoh observed that societies are rated by how its people and government treat its weak and vulnerable ones.
“ Today, the archbishop has brought the mighty and weak in the state together to chant a common course beneficial to the society,’’ Isizoh noted.
In an address, the Anambra State Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Anthony Ubaike commended the archbishop for attracting philanthropists to the prisons through building and other philanthropic gestures.
“We are privileged to have the archbishop visit Onitsha prisons three times yearly and these visits come with something new to solve our challenges”.
“May God continue to bless and keep you by granting you many more years ahead,’’ he said.
Highlight of the event included special music rendition, blessing of the inmates in their cells; cutting of a birthday cake and a novelty football match.
While the archbishop donated 14 bags of rice; two cows; toilet and laundry soaps, biscuits, tissue etc to the inmates as part of the celebration.
– Ahamefule Chime – Onitsha