Monday, 2 May 2016

Catholic Bishop of Awka Distributes Relief Materials, Sacrament of Confirmation to Prison Inmates

Okechukwu Onuegbu

The word ‘joy’ best described the mood of prison inmates at Anambra State Prison in Amawbia, as the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor recently donated some relief materials for their upkeep.

Ezeokafor, who donated the materials which included food stuffs and clothing, equally administered the church sacrament of confirmation on the inmates in order to bring them much closer to God, even as he blessed and commissioned two befitting prison walls he solely renovated to the command.

Speaking in a sermon, Bishop Ezeokafor called for a collaborative effort with the government, NGOs and other well-meaning individuals in making prison environment inhabitable.

“Sometime when I visited them, I saw that a good number of their facilities were at dilapidation structure. Immediately, I took it upon myself to refurbish some, and thanks be to God, I was able to complete the renovation. I am now calling on philanthropists and other well to do Nigerians to come to the aide of Prisoners by making it a bit comfortable for them”, he said.

To the prisoners, the Prelate urged them to see their present circumstances as a kind of reformation, even as he enjoined relevance agencies to quicken their efforts in administration of justice so as to reduce the number of inmates across various prisons in the country.   

On his part, the Chaplain of the prison inmates and Parish Priest of St. Matthew Catholic Church, Amawbia, Rev. Fr. Valentine Ofomata commended the Bishop for finding the inmates worthy of his humanitarian services despite his meager resources, and advised the confirmed inmates to keep to the faith as God, who knows their heart desires would surely rescue and uplift them.

In his contribution, the Comptroller of Prison, Anambra State Command, Anthony Ubaike disclosed that the inmates were the most beneficiary of the 2016 year of mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis.

Speaking in an interview after the visitation to the prison, Bishop Ezeokafor while responding to the rising menace of Fulani herdsmen in the country, said they were sad and uncomfortable over the happenings in the country, stressing that is worst than Boko Haram.

Ezeokafor, who warned the perpetrators of the heinous crime to refrain from the act and save the country, because according to him, nobody, tribe or religion has monopoly of violence.

He said: “Nobody has the right whatever to destroy or take over farmers lands from them because that is their sources of livelihood. And besides, no businessman or farmer from this part of the country can take away people farmland or shop in north to transact their businesses.

“The cattle farmers should get their own farms for the purpose of rearing their cattles rather than going about to destroy other people farmland or lives and properties... I am afraid this is turning out to be another most dreadful Boko Haram members coming to our land to attack us. We call on the government to brace-up to its responsibility and not treat the issue as if some people have monopoly of violence and shall always go scot-free. I can’t see how the cattle rearers can carry gun about.

“I feel that some people are behind them; hiding under the mask. And this cannot help our democracy. Otherwise I will query the truth about our one Nigeria. Are we one if some are to be gruesomely murdered? We need dialogue to resolve it because going to war is not the best option”, Ezeokafor submitted.

On fathers Sunday, the Prelate advised fathers to rise up and take full responsibilities of their homes as good home bringing is panacea to developing the society.



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