From Ahmed Kaigama Bauchi
The wife of Bauchi state governor, Hajia Aisha Mohammed Abubakar has secured the release of 52 prison inmates with minor offenses in Bauchi state.
Hajia Abubakar who is also the founder of Briliant Girl Child Initiative stated this during the payment of fines and compensation for the prison inmates in Bauchi yesterday,saying the reform programme was born out of her passion to bring succor to prison inmates.
She said” we are given the release inmates N5,000 transport fare and we will also sponsor them on vocational training so that they can be self reliance and desist from their old ways of life.
Mrs Abubakar who was flanked by the wife of Kigi state Governor, Hajia Hafsat Yahaya Bello and wife of Chief of Air staff, Hajia Hanatu Zadik Abubakar said only one woman was among the release inmates saying “ we wish to secure the release of more women because as a woman, I am passionate about the plight of women but unfortunately the offenses of the women prison inmates are above what we can do.
“We settles fines and compensation of the inmates in various prisons in Zaki,Tafawa Balewa,Narbodo, Alkaleri, Ningi, Misau, Katagum,and Jama’are and Bauchi prison respectively,” she said
“In 2016, we secured the release of 42 inmates which we trained on vocation skills but unfortunately only 39 were graduated while 2 went back to their old ways while one neglected the training.
“ Also in July 2017, we equally went round to visit the trained ex-convict in their various places of work, during such visit we donated N20,000 to the graduands in other to motivate them,” Hajia.
The Governor’s wife also donated items worth thousands of naira to the prison inmates. Items donated include, blanket, mats, soap, body oil and bathroom slippers.
She thereby enjoined parents to accept and support the release inmates in their endeavor of becoming a better and reform citizens.
In his welcome address, Controller of Prisons, Bauchi state Command, CP Suleiman T Suleiman said the Governor’s wife will also sponsor the inmates for a vocational training with proviosn of vocational tools to enable them be self reliance in their various communities.
He said one of the inmates who is in critical health condition was among the inmates that benefited from the gesture “I want to commend Her Excellency for graciously approving to pay for the release of Adamu Kolo, one of the inmates on compassionate ground. The moment I requested Her Excellency to look into the plight of the inmate who has been critically ill, she obliged and paid sum of N120,000 for his fines and compassion.
“The unique gesture of Her Excellency is the second of its kind in the series of her laudable interventions to the well being of prison inmates in Bauchi state. She had in February 2016 released 42 inmates by paying for their fines and compensation. She thereafter sponsored them for a vocational training at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and also provided them with vocational tools after their graduation.
He thereby called on other individuals, philanthropists, NGOs and corporate organizations to emulate the Governor’s wife by assisting prison inmates with skills acquisition materials and other basic support.
The Former Commisoner for Justice in Bauchi State, Yakubu Umar who expressed worry over youth involvement in criminal activities attributed it to failed family value.
He said “if you look at these inmates, they are all youth who ate below 30 years which means something is wrong with our family values and norms. It is a sign that our family value in Nigeria is failing woefully.
Umar thereby charge parents and guidance to wake up to their duty of inculcating good morals and training in their children and wards saying “ if we fail to train our children, we are gradually losing our future leaders.
Also the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Haruna Mohammed said the governor’s wife gesture of securing for the release of prison inmates is in line with the ongoing decongesting prisons in Nigeria.
He said other Organizations in Nigeria including European Union and Mac Author Foundation are also taken steps in decongestion of prisons to create space in the prison and alleviate sickness.
One of the release inmates, Zainab Musa who lost her husband while in prison thanked the Governor’s wife for the gesture of releasing her to reunite with her family.