Onitsha correctional services skills acquisition centre ready next year
The multimillion-naira modern skills acquisition centre being built at the Nigerian Correctional Services Onitsha, Anambra State will be operational next year.
The centre is being built by Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province and Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha.
During a pastoral visit to the inmates to celebrate Easter with them, Okeke assured that the skills acquisition centre would be inaugurated before the next year’s Easter celebration for training to commence to improve the lives of inmates.
The centre was designed for six departments of tailoring, shoe mending and making, carpentry, computer studies and engineering.
The Archbishop donated some items to the inmates which included one life cow, cooked rice, assorted biscuits, tissue paper, toothpastes, laundry soaps, toilet soaps and Easter cake.
He urged the inmates to be of good behaviour and exhibit good character to one another.
“Whatever is not good for you, do not do it to another person. Correctional services centre is a place where one is being corrected and refined. Always think good for another person. Be your brother’s keeper in whatever you do,” Okeke said.
He charged the inmates to dedicate themselves in acquiring skills while serving their jail terms, adding that it was certain that some of them were innocent of the accusation that brought them into the prison.
Okeke noted that it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to build such a centre but the church cannot wait to render support to the needy.
He commended the management of the correctional services on the efforts to educate the inmates effectively.
The cleric urged the government to help solve the insecurity situation in the country.
In his homily, the Archbishop advised Nigerian leaders to emulate the exemplary life of Christ who sacrificed himself to save mankind.
“We should make the necessary sacrifice to be our brother’s keeper. When we become our brother’s keeper, we will share in the victory of Christ who triumphed over suffering and death and rose from death. May the Lord bless you as you do so,” he said.
Rev. Fr. Bathlomew Okpalanwugo, chaplain of St. Maximilian Kolbe Chaplaincy Onitsha, commended the Archbishop for the visit and all he had been doing in correctional services.
He thanked priests and the Catholic faithful who accompanied the Archbishop to the correctional services.
Emmanuel Nwakaeze, the state director of correctional services, eulogized the Archbishop for visiting the inmates.
He described the Archbishop’s homily as wonderful, while praying God to continue to strengthen him as he carries out his bishopric services.
Meanwhile, about N6.9 million would be required to equip the departments of the skills acquisition centre at the Onitsha Correctional Service where no fewer than 1,107 inmates are serving various jail terms.