The Prison Officers Wives Association (PROWA), on Friday, paid fines imposed on19 inmates of Keffi Old and Medium Security Prisons in Nasarawa State, to secure their release. The group, led by its President, Hajia Gwamma Ja’afaru, paid the fines, which ranged from N3,000 to N65,000, for three inmates of Keffi Old Prison and 16 inmatesof Keffi Medium Security Prison.
Ja’afaru, who is also the wife of the Comptroller- General of Prisons (CGP), Mr Ahmed Ja’afaru, said the gesture was to share with the inmates the goodwill of the Ramadan in line with the objective of the association. “Today is not a day for long speeches, our mission is to share with you the goodwill of the Ramadan. ‘’This is in line with our motto: ‘we care’. To this end, we have come with prepared meals and other packages to cheer you up. “Such packages include donation of supplies and the paying of fines for inmates with option of fines to regain their freedom,” she said.
Ja’afaru admonished those released to exhibit good character, engage in fruitful ventures and desist from all criminal activities which led to their incarceration. “I implore you to keep away from drugs and bad friends but meaningfully engage yourselves as decent and good citizens.Also, I would like to encourage the rest of you to take advantage of every opportunity made available to you while you are here. “The vocational training as well as the educational advancement opportunities are meant to equip you to become responsible and productive citizens of the country by the time you are discharged,” she said.
The Comptroller of Prisons in Nasarawa State, Mr Ekwere Ekanem, expressed gratitude to the group for coming to pay the fines.He said the effort would go a long way in decongesting the prisons in the state. “As I speak with you, both prisons are overpopulated. “The Keffi Old Prison with a capacity of 130 inmates has about 280 as of today, while the Keffi Medium Security Prisons which is supposed to accommodate about 160 has about 610 inmates at present.“So, this is a very welcome initiative. We consider ourselves very lucky for the support and you have made our work easier.‘’We hope that more of this outing comes regularly, so as to help bring succour to inmates,” he said.
The Nasarawa State PROWA Chairperson, Mrs Favour Ekanem, commended PROWA president for making out time to visit the prisons in Keffi. Favour used the opportunity to thank the CGP for the conducive atmosphere created ‘’for our husbands at work’’. Responding on behalf of the released inmates, Timothy Danjuma expressed appreciation for the goodwill exhibited by PROWA.He promised that they would justify the gesture by not engaging in crime and contributing meaningfully to the development of the society.