An ex-convict, Abdulfatai Akinola, has described the three years he spent in Kuje prisons, Abuja, as a blessing in disguise, saying the experience has turned him into a responsible member of the society.
He stated that he learnt tailoring while in custody,adding that the vocation had empowered him to cater for his family.Speaking during the presentation of work tools to25 ex-offenders by the Nigeria Prisons Service in Abuja, Akinola, who did not specify the reason for his imprisonment, expressed appreciation to the prisons authorities for the skill he acquired.
He said, “To go to prison is not a crime because it is a correction place. If a pastor had told me I would become a tailor which I am using to feed my family today, I would have doubted it, but I thank God that my imprisonment wasn’t in vain.”The NPS had presented working tools for hair salon, carpentry, welding, hair dressing and tailoring to 25 former prison inmates selected from 12 prison commands.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Comptroller-General of Prisons, Ja’faru Ahmed, said that the beneficiaries had undergone various skill acquisition programmes and were found to be proficient enough to practise their trade on discharge.He added that the skills acquired by the ex-offenders would enable them to compete effectively among their contemporaries in the society, adding that this would facilitate their re-integration.
.The CG said, “They have been prepared and equipped to become law-abiding and productive members of their families, communities, LGs, states and the nation at large.“After serving their jail terms, the offenders are expected to return to the society not as social misfits, but as reformed and well-equipped personalities with skills that will enable them to settle down to a productive life.”