Inmates of the Lafia prison have appealed for assistance from members of the public, to enable them further their education.
Newsmen report that the inmates spoke through Godwin Wase, who is their “Pastor”, at a ceremony organised by the Prison Fellowship of Nigeria, to celebrate the birthday of Bishop Emmanuel Musa-Jatau, the prisoners’ visiting spiritual partner.
Wase, who said he had spent 11, out of his 21 years jail term over armed robbery, said that such assistance would enable the inmates become more useful to the society upon completion of their terms. “I came in here as a secondary school leaver and have lost my parents while in prison. “I have no one to look up to anymore, because I am an only child.
“The good thing is that I encountered God in prison and have repented through the support of the prison fellowship, prison authority and other spirited individuals.
“I was able to write Jamb and later secured admission into the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN),” Wase said.
He said that four other inmates were already studying at the NOUN, while 34 others had written the National Board for Technical Education (NABTEB) examination, and had applied for admission into NOUN.
“Most of the inmates have expressed willingness to write JAMB and further their education, if given the opportunity.
“There are a lot of brilliant people with massive potential in the prisons; they should not be allowed to rot away,” he said.
Addressing the inmates, Musa-Jatau, of the Faith Hill Prophetic AAssembly, Abuja assured them of his commitment towards their education and promised to register some of them to write JAMB.
He also promised to raise some money with which to settle the tuition of those in NOUN.
The clergy charged the inmates not to look down on themselves, or feel that they were the worst set of people.
“You should rather work towards making a difference upon completion of your jail term, by improving your capacity through skill acquisition,” he said.
Newsmen report that the Bishop used the occasion to secure the release of five inmates by paying the fine options of their sentences.
Mr Ekwere Ekanem, Comptroller of Prisons in Nasarawa State, in his remark, lauded the Bishop for the gesture and challenged other individuals and organisation to emulate it.