President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday witnessed the pardon of 500 inmates of the Kurmawa Central Prisons in Kano metropolis as part of federal government’s efforts to decongest prisons.
The president is on a two-day official visit to Kano state.
At the ceremony, Buhari pledged that prisons reforms and decongestion would continue to receive prompt attention from his administration.
“I am pleased with this visit and I have learnt a bit more about the conditions of the prisons and inmates,” Garba Shehu, senior special assitant on media and publicity, said in a statement.
“This building in front of us was built since 1910. Rehabilitation of prisoners and training of inmates is very important to us and we would continue to invest more on this.
“I asked one of the inmates (released) how old he was and he told me he is only 19 years old.
“If we have people of 18 and 19 years in the prison, and there is no continuous training, then their lives will be completely destroyed. We will invest more in education and vocational training.”
The 500 inmates granted pardon, including men and women, were drawn from various prisons in Kano state, including Kurmawa prisons, which has 1,398 inmates as opposed to 750, the established capacity.
The president advised the affected inmates to be of good behaviour and shun anything that could bring them back to prison.
He charged them to engage in lawful ventures to enable them to become useful members of the society.
The president also gave the inmates an undisclosed amount of money to transport themselves to their respective homes.
NAN reports that Buhari earlier visited the emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
A mammoth crowd was also at the airport and along the major streets in the metropolis, giving the president a rousing welcome.
The president is expected to inaugurate a number of projects executed by the Ganduje administration during the visit.
Among the projects are the ultra-modern specialist hospital, Giginyu, named after him and a peadiatric hospital located on Zoo road, Kano, and the underpass bridge at Madobi/Panshekara Junction.
On the second day, the president will inspect a rice mill, Fullmark Rice Mill Company at Kwanar Gunduwawa, and Gezawa Oil Mill, the largest oil mill in Africa at Tokarawa Industrial Estate both on Hadeja Road.
Buhari is also expected to meet with Ulamas and hold an interactive session with community leaders and politicians before returning to Abuja.(thecable)