- officials eulogize him for reforming Centre
- N100 million Naira skill acquisition centre ready by October.
By Ononye VC
The joy of Easter knew no bounds for the officials and inmates of Onitsha federal Correctional Centre on Easter day as they rolled out the drums to receive the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,most Rev Valerian Okeke inside the correctional center.
The Archbishop was on his yearly spiritual/material welfare visit to the facility where he prayed for and gave the inmates hope and also delivered welfare materials to them.
The Archbishop who was accompanied by his long time friend, schoolmate and activist,Professor Pat Utomi preached hope and repentance to the inmates.
According to to the Archbishop,the risen Christ is a victory over all adversities of life.
With Christ’s resurrection,”the stone that was rolled out from Jesus’ grave could be likened to one of those problems blocking our lives.”
Many he said, are literally inside the grave today without knowing how to free themselves except with unflinching faith on the risen Christ.
The Archbishop said his vision for the inmates was to assist the willing inmates to acquire skills that would make them useful citizens when they complete their various sentences and in that regard was expediting action to ensure that the N100 million Naira Skill Acquisition centre inside the facility is commissioned and becomes operational by October 2022.That would be realised after the acquisition centre is adequately fenced and provided with a solar power back-up to ensure regular power,the Archbishop assured.
He listed some of the welfare materials he delivered to the correctional centre to include several cartons of toilet and laundry soap,tissue papers,biscuits,Easter cakes,cheese balls and bathroom slippers.
Other items are,12 bags of rice(cooked)with a cow and another live cow on standby.
A Hungarian international charity activist,Dr Reka Fodor also donated a life cow to the inmates.
As part of the progress made to improve the conditions of the centre,the Archbishop mentioned that he was making efforts to make the Centre a Senior WAEC examination centre to enable qualified inmates take their WAEC senior examinations inside the facility.
He commended the Anambra State ASUBEB chairman,Dr Mrs Franca Ego Obi for her interest in education of the inmates by sending two government teachers to teach the inmates to advance their education.
The priest in charge of the Centre Chaplaincy,Rev Fr Nnamdi Okpalaugo expressed deep appreciation to the Archbishop for assisting the correctional centre in so many ways such that the inmates were afforded the opportunity to view international matches with televisions and cable tv appliances provided by the Archbishop.
In his remarks,the the Controller of Correctional Centre Mr Patrick Chukwuemeka eulogized Archbishop Valerian Okeke for the transformation he has brought to the Onitsha Corrections Centre.
According to him,the Archbishop is a trail blazer in Prison transformation in the country such that the Onitsha Correctional Centre is like a home to the inmates.
Also in his remark,the Deputy Controller of Corrections Mr Val Nwosu paid tribute to Archbishop Val Okeke for his love for the inmates and his Easter message of hope to all and sundry.
Others who spoke and hailed the Archbishop include Professor Pat Utomi, ASUBEB boss Dr Franca Ego Obi,the Onitsha Archdiocesan CWO Director Dame Ngozi Nwanosike and Hon Edward Ibuzo.
Hon Ibuzo also made a substantial donation of materials to the corrections centre for their Easter celebration.