Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of Anglican Ecclesiastical Province, Enugu, has urged Federal and state governments to do more to improve welfare of inmates in the Nigeria Correctional Service.
Chukwuma made the call at the inauguration of nine new officers of Prison Fellowship Nigeria, Enugu State Chapter Monday in Enugu. He regretted that monies meant to improve the welfare of inmates were usually mismanaged.
“Until the welfare of the inmates are enhanced and improved upon, then the change of name from Nigeria Prison Service to Nigeria Correctional Service is not only ineffective but also deceptive,’’ the cleric said.
He congratulated the new officers and enjoined them to intensify efforts to assist in reforming inmates through evangelism.
The chairman of the occasion, Dr Chidozie Nwankwo, noted that correctional centre remained a wonderful place to evangelize to win souls for Christ.
Nwankwo, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Wichtech Nigerian Ltd, stressed that the fellowship was strategically positioned to impact positively on the lives of inmates both serving and awaiting trial.
According to him, the objectives of the fellowship are in line with statutory mandate of the Nigerian Correctional Services meant to reform those in its facility and make them better citizens.
In an address, former secretary of the fellowship, Mrs Chinwe Amanoh, said that the objectives of the fellowship were to restore, rehabilitate and reintegrate inmates as they take their journey in and outside the correction centres.
Amanoh appealed to groups, philanthropists as well as men and women of goodwill to be of assistance to the fellowship to help it achieve its objectives.
In his inaugural address, the new chairman of the fellowship, Mr Ndidi Edeh, said that the fellowship was out to proclaim the good news to the inmates and assist the development of the criminal justice system, “which is consistent with biblical instruction’’.
Edeh noted that it was only when they accomplished these projects that the fellowship could become relevant to the correctional centres.
“Testimonies from places where these projects are being fully implemented moved us to believe that when we are motivated to activate same in Enugu State, there will be effective prison ministry for a crime-free society.
“The fellowship is a purely Christian organisation that is non-denominational but inter-denominational. We are aware that the inmates come from different religious backgrounds with different experience and doctrines,’’ he said.
The event witnessed the installation of patrons and patronesses of the fellowship as well as inauguration of the new fellowship officers. (NAN)