The Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Dr. Valerian Maduka Okeke, has challenged Onitsha prison inmates to have faith that the prison is not their last bus stop in life.
Archbishop Okeke, who spoke at the weekend at the Onitsha Prison during a mass to celebrate his birthday, said with faith in God, they can surmount their life problems.
Making reference to Abraham, the Archbishop said: “God will provide your lamb of sacrifice if you have faith in God. See your stay in prison as a prolonged period of retreat, prayer. Don’t be angry over your stay in the prison”.
He said with faith in God, when they come out, they will become prominent people, saying that apart from late Nelson Mandela of South Africa, there was somebody in this country who came out of prison and become President in Nigeria.
He challenged the inmates to use the period of being in prison to learn something new, saying that the purpose of constructing the multi-million Skill Acquisition was for them to learn new skills.
The Archbishop also advised some of them who do not have school certificate to use the period to take GCE or NECO, saying that as adults, any of them who worked hard can clear his or her papers within one year.
Archbishop Okeke also said it was in the best interest of all for prisoners to be happy, hence prison should not be a punitive but corrective.
The Archbishop donated two cows, one killed and one life cow, eight bags of rice, apart from the cooked rice, toiletries, paste, and biscuits among other items.
Governor Willie Obiano was represented at the mass by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Joseph Asike.
The governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 18, 2017 governorship election was also present.
Others were former Minister of Defence, Chief Dan Chuke; Igwe of Mbaukwu, B. Anunkwu; member representing Onitsha II Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Barr. Chugbo Enwezor; the Commandant, Nigerian Prisons, Anambra State Command, Barr. Emma Nwakeze, among others.