…As NGO urges FG to create enabling environment for philanthropists to support inmates
By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
In order for inmates of Oba Correctional Center in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital to have smooth integration back to the society, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), “Habiba foundation” has donated a tailoring centre and seven sewing machines to the Center.
The foundation also donated a borehole and ultra modern mosque to the juvenile detention center, Borstal institution in Adigbe.
While handing over the tailoring centre and sewing machines to the correctional home authority, the Founder of the “Habiba foundation” , Engr. Rasheed Sumola said the gesture was to support the efforts of the government in reforming the inmates.
He explained that it became imperative to provide a means of livelihood for the inmates so that they would not become a threat to the society after leaving the correctional facility.
Sumola added that the foundation is concern about how they can reintegrate the inmates back to the society and make them useful for themselves and the society at large.
He said, “This was done so that we can give our brothers(inmates) here something they would be doing after they leave this place and they will not become a nuisance to the society” .
“We are giving them this tailoring centre with some sewing machine so they can have a means of livelihood after their jail terms”.
“We have employed a tutor that would be training them on how to sew cloth and other things that has to do with tailoring”.
“We hope they would be ready to grab this opportunity”.
“I am assuring them that anybody who learn this handiwork well would also get support from our foundation to start up something when the person finally leave this place”.
“All we are doing is to look for how we would reintegrate them back to the society” .
“This place is for every inmate irrespective of religion or belief. In Habiba foundation, we are concerned about the welfare of the less privileged or orphans in our society and that is why we are doing all we can to support them.”
Sumola however called on philanthropists and politicians to support the efforts of the government by giving to the less privileged especially the inmates, urging the government to create enabling environment for philanthropists to support.
In his remarks, the Deputy Controller in charge of the Oba correctional centre, Shuaib Ayodeji commended the foundation for its continuous supports to the inmates.
Ayodeji noted that the collaboration with the foundation has brought development to the correctional home.
He submitted that the tailoring facilities would provide the inmates the opportunity of having something they would be doing after leaving the prison.
He said, “I feel fulfiled that during my tenure, we have this kind of facilities here. “When I came on ground, I met barely nothing, but with my patience and collaboration with different organizations within and outside the state, we have been able to do so many things.
“With one or two machines we are having before now, some of them have showed enthusiasm to learn and I believe with these new machines, we are having a larger population coming to learn and we are happy about this.”
In the same vein, the chairman of the day, Engr. Hameed Omotayo charged the inmates to always remember their value when making cloth for customers.
He maintained that the centre is an indicator to the end of poverty for the inmates.