By Kenneth Jukpor
While the COVID-19 pandemic has seen Nigerian prisoners jettisoned by their families, lawyers as well as Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), it hasn’t hindered the charitable deeds of Bomarah Foundation which took donations to Kirikiri Maximum prison, this week.
The items donated were; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks, hand sanitizers, hand wash and other food items.
Speaking with MMS Plus newspaper at the presentation, the Founder of Bomarah Foundation, Hajia Bola Muse expressed delight at the privilege, noting that the prisoners deserve care especially at such difficult times.
Her words: “This isn’t the first time that Bomarah is working with the correction centre in terms of providing palliatives. We have outlined visit to prisons as one of the activities as our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles in Lagos state.”
The Founder of Bomarah encouraged other NGOs and philanthropists to equally visit the Correction centres as part of CSR and philanthropy.
“No one is going to arrest you or victimize you when you come to the prisons. As an NGO or an individual, if you have the means to assist them at the prisons, please do so,” she urged.
Receiving the items, the Deputy Comptroller Corrections (DCC) in-charge of Maximum Security Correction Centre, Mr. Michael Okorie said, “I’m very grateful to take delivery of these items. Since COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Nigeria, some other groups have given these items but they weren’t enough. The prisoners need this so that they can have more than one mask and sufficient sanitizers in their cells”
Noting that Bomarah Foundation was a regular donor at the Kirikiri prison, he commended the Foundation even as he pointed out that a football club in the prison had been developed by the Foundation.
“This is not the first time that Bomarah is coming. She has a football club and she can find out how they are faring. Currently, there is a competition among the cells in the prison so that they can be busy and not idle,” he said.
Okorie stressed that the advent of COVID-19 had led to shortage of food, medics and visitation by family members of prisoners.
Also speaking at the programme, a Humanity Caregiver, Mrs. Joy Nweke stressed that empowerment and capacity building could reduce the number of prisoners.
Her words: “Empowerment and capacity building isn’t on the stomach or just about finances. It is from the mind. Once the mind is enriched other things would fall in line. The help will come when you can engage people and show what you can do.”
“There is so much money in Nigeria but people are yet to attract it by building their minds. We have a long way to go in this aspect in Nigeria and this would bring down the number of people that end up in prisons, she stressed. The only thing that people need in life is within them and the reason someone is poor is simply ignorance.”