The Governor of Anambra State Willie Obiano has promised to grant amnesty to deserving inmates in Correctional Centers across the state on the recommendation of the Controller of Correctional Service.
Obiano made the promise yesterday at the 68th birthday of the Archbishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha and Metropolitan of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Valerian Okeke.
The governor urged the intimates to vote for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, in the November 6 governorship election.
He said Soludo would create more jobs that would engage inmates more meaningfully and discourage them from criminal activities.
Okeke, who celebrated his birthday with inmates of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), urged them not to lose hope nor be frustrated by their current challenges.
“You must learn not to be frustrated in life because of the challenges that life throws at you. So, don’t wallow in self-pity. You must do something about your life to be meaningful,” he said.
The State Controller of Correctional Service, Patrick Chukwuemeka, described “correction” as the responsibility of everyone, stressing that the primary goal of NCS was to reform and redeem inmates back into the society.
Dignitaries at the birthday included former Governor Peter Obi; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo; Africa Democratic Congress (ADC) candidate, Mr. Sullivian Akachukwu Nwankwo and APGA National Chairman, Ozonkpu Victor Oye.
Also, Ozigbo has attributed overpopulation of correctional facilities in the country to leadership failure.
He said jobs could have been created naturally and the economy energized, if leaders had taken their responsibilities seriously.
Ozigbo spoke at Most Reverend Okeke’s 68th birthday in Onitsha.
He said: “The overpopulation of the prison is evidence of failed leadership. When quality leaders are voted into office, the economy is energised, and jobs are created naturally.
“We are suffering from a lot of economic problems. They say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. The current crop of leaders has failed to provide jobs for the youth.
“As we approach the November 6 election, we must emphasise character, competence, capacity. I am here to change Anambra’s story, give these people a fresh lease of life, and provide them with new opportunities.”
The PDP candidate eulogised Okeke for prioritising and impacting the lives of the less privileged in society.
“I am pleased to be in the midst of our friends at the correctional facility to celebrate our father in the Lord and wish him a happy birthday. It is gratifying that we are celebrating with people who are often forgotten.
“Archbishop Valerian Okeke’s gesture speaks volumes to what he represents and the life of impact he is known for. He inspires me all the time, and I am grateful to be here.”
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