Her Excellency, Mrs Obiano marks Easter with Prisoners, Promises Emp

By Emeka Ozumba

In keeping with the mandate of her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), the wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano has promised to provide empowerment support to any inmate of Onitsha Prisons who excels at the Skills Acquisition Centre planned for the facility by the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha. Mrs. Obiano made the pledge on during Easter Sunday Mass at the Onitsha Prisons, Anambra State.

The wife of the governor whose NGO CAFÉ provides empowerment for indigent women and widows, and the less privileged with funding by philanthropists, cautioned the inmates about acts that can worsen their state after serving their sentence and charged them to do the right knowing that the prison term is temporal. Said she: “I don’t like to see people begging when they can easily support themselves with skills to earn a living; with what you learn at the centre you can be meaningfully engaged, be an entrepreneur, and like one of the points in the Anambra State Shared Values: “Be part of the solution not the problem.” That way, you come out reformed and a better citizen.”

Mrs. Obiano also expressed her displeasure over the news that the inmates tried to mutiny over the discovery and stoppage of the trafficking in Indian hemp inside the facility. She commended the eleven inmates who embraced Christ through the Sacrament of Confirmation for choosing to do right rather than join the illegal agitation, she stated, “ Now that you have given yourself to Christ, now that you decided to abandon the things that may have you brought here, I know you will come out of here better citizens.”

Mrs. Obiano thanked the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese for donating the Skills Acquisition centre which she noted will help the inmates turn out better citizens. She also gave gifts including cartons of beverages, assorted food and ten bags of Anambra rice which she assured is of the best quality and a product of Chief Willie Obiano’s agricultural revolution in the state. She advised those who can to take advantage of the export of vegetables like pumpkin leaf amongst others.

Earlier in his Easter Message to the inmates, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Okeke, told them that Easter is a message and a victory which confirms that God the Father always have the final word. He condemned the attempted mutiny by the inmates over preference for illicit drugs and urged them to avoid such acts to avoid losing the opportunity to change their lives.

The Archbishop also prayed for Anambra State which he said is already a reference point in many aspects of governance and asked all to pray for more grace from God to help the State Governor to do well for the state to remain exemplary. He assured the inmates that the diocese will build the Skills Acquisition centre as promised and urged the Prison authorities not to hesitate to punish the erring inmates.

In his vote of thanks the Deputy Controller of Prisons, Mr. Alex Oditah, thanked Archbishop Valerian Okeke and the wife of the Governor for remembering the inmates at Easter. He confirmed that attempt by some inmates to cause disaffection was nipped in the bud and assured that they authorities ever prepared to maintain order in the Prisons and ensure there is no breakdown of law and order.