About 15 prison inmates with minor offences have regained freedom in Bauchi state after they had their fines settled by the wife of the Bauchi state governor, Hajiya Aisha Mohammed Abubakar.
Speaking during the payment of fines and compensation for the prison inmates in Bauchi on Monday, Hajia Aisha Abubakar who is also the founder of Brilliant Girl Child Initiative said the reform Programme was as a result of her passion to bring succour to prison inmates.
“we are giving the released inmates N5,000 transport fare each and we will also sponsor them on vocational training so that they can be self reliant and desist from their old ways of life”, she said.
Hajiya Abubakar who was accompanied by the wife of Kogi state Governor, Hajia Hafsat Yahaya Bello and that of Chief of Air staff, Hajia Hanatu Zadik Abubakar said only one woman was among the released inmates.
“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 handle.
“We settled fines and compensation for the inmates in various prisons such as Zaki, Tafawa Balewa, Narbodo, Alkaleri, Ningi, Misau, Katagum, and Jama’are and Bauchi prison respectively,” she enumerated.
Hajiya Aisha who further noted that in 2016, her foundation secured the release of 42 inmates, who were trained on vocational skills, also lamented that only 39 completed the training while two others went back to their old ways while one dropped out.
She added that, “also in July 2017, we equally went round to visit the trained ex-convicts in their various places of work; during such visit we gave them N20, 000 in order to motivate them”.
The wife of the governor also donated items worth thousands of naira to the prison inmates which included, blanket, mats, soap, and body oil and bathroom slippers.
Hajiya Aisha called on parents of the released inmates and the society to accept and support them in their endeavours to become better and reformed citizens.
The Controller of Prisons, Bauchi state Command, CP Suleiman T Suleiman in a welcome address expressed optimism that the Governor’s wife will also sponsor the inmates for a vocational training with provision of vocational tools to enable them be self reliant in their various communities.
Suleiman, who noted that one of the inmates, in a critical health condition was among the inmates that benefited from the gesture, also commended the governor’s wife 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 the sum of N120, 000 for his fines on 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”, the controller acknowledged.
From Samuel Luka, Bauchi