Onaiyekan appeals to FG over prison congestion



Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has appealed to the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, decongest prisons across the country.
Cardinal Onaiyekan made the appeal yesterday when h received a delegation of Al-Mustapha Peace, Unity and Development Initiative  (APUDI) in Abuja.
He said: “I want to use this medium to appeal government at all levels that something should be done to decongest our prisons. People should not be kept behind bars unnecessary long for no just cause. If you have no reasons to keep them, then release them.”
The cleric wondered why some of the country’s past leaders and current political office holders, who went to jail, “now find it difficult to transform the prison condition.”
He noted that only one-third of inmates were convicted while two-third was awaiting trials.
“Some people may be quite innocent, but just because some powerful individuals decided to throw them behind bars. Some are even forgotten there.  Those responsible should seriously and methodically decongest the prisons by sending people back to their homes.”
On Sheikh Albani’s murder at the weekend in Kaduna, Onaiyekan said it was regrettable, and urged the government to do more in terms of intelligence-gathering rather than budgeting billions of naira for the procurement of weapons for the security agencies.
He assured that the current spate of insurgency in the country will soon be a thing of the past.
“Whatever has a beginning will have an end. Ten years ago, there was no Boko Haram, the end will come.”
Responding, the leader of the delegation, Major Hamza Al- Mustapha, thanked Cardinal Onaiyekan for the fatherly roles he played when they were going through persecution and pledged the organisation’s commitment to the promotion of peace and development of the country.

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