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Enugu Governor, Bishop Okoye Celebrate New Year With Inmates At Correctional Center

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Representative of the Enugu State Governor, Aka Eze Aka, left and the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Awgu, Most Rev John Okoye after the holy mass

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State on Monday joined the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Awgu, Most Rev. John Okoye, in a holy mass at Medium Security Correctional Centre, Oji River to celebrate the new year.

Mbah who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Aka Eze Aka, said his government would continue to collaborate with the church to prioritize the welfare of inmates and facilitate speedy dispensation of justice in the State.

The Governor while addressing the inmates of the Centre, expressed the hope that they would return to the society as changed persons and contribute to the growth and development of the State.

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Enugu State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Aka Eze Aka addressing inmates of Medium Security Correctional Centre, Oji River

Mbah who presented cash gift to the inmates, promised to continue to support the Correctional Centre, adding that he would return to have a face-to-face interaction with them, even as he promised to support them in the area of skill acquisition.

He expressed delight in the warm reception accorded him and urged inmates not to see their incarceration as the end of life but an opportunity to turn a new leaf.

Earlier in his homily, Most Reverend John Okoye, noted that the blessings of God in the life of people does not mean they were free from challenges, emphasing that it was the blessings of God that enables man to overcome challenges and remain strong.

The cleric prayed God to be with Nigerians in a special way in the new year especially those facing adverse challenges and difficulties, adding that when the blessings of God manifest on people they would conquer whatever challenges they might face.

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He admonished Nigerians to continue to trust in God, noting that the birth of Jesus Christ remains a mystery to mankind.

The Bishop commended Governor Mbah for fulfilling his promise to join him to worship with the inmates at the Correctional Centre in the new year and called for prayer for him to succeed.

The Chief Superintendent of Corrections in charge of Oji River Correctional Center, Emmanuel Kanikwu, commended the Governor and prayed God to assist  him to succeed

“I pray that you continue to pilot the affairs of the state, that during your tenure the people will rejoice, you will lift Enugu State to a height where no one has reached by God’s grace.

Kanikwu also applauded the Bishop for his commitment in visiting the centre every year, stating that sharing such special moments with the inmates is a source of great upliftment.

“Your spiritual blessings every first day of the year is indeed a source of encouragement and happiness to us”he added.

He outlined some of the activities that would help to improve the lives of the inmates, noting that functional workshop where the inmates could acquire skills in order to be useful to themselves and the society had been lacking in the center

The Nigerian Correctional Service Medium Security Centre, Oji River, Enugu, Inaugurated in 1992 with 80 bed capacity today has 166 inmates.

Left: Aka Eze Aka, (middle) Bishop John Okoye (Right) Emmanuel Kanikwu

Highlights of the visit was the presentation of a locally made handbag to the Governor’s representative by an inmate, words of advise, encouragement to young people, as well as cultural music displays by the inmates.

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