In continuation of her familiarization tour of The Gambia, the Nigeria High Commissioner to The Gambia, Hon (Mrs) Esther John Audu, yesterday visited the State Central Prisons at Mile Two. She was accompanied by senior staff of the Nigeria High Commission in The Gambia.
She had last year visited the provinces and made donations of herbicides to Sittanunku in the North Bank Region (
Hon (Mrs) Esther John Audu seized the opportunity of her visit to address Nigerian inmates at the prison, all of whom were excited to see her. She urged them to be of good behaviour and learn from their mistakes. "We all make mistakes," she said. "Nobody is above mistakes. What is important is to learn from our mistakes and become better people."
She added: "The prison is not meant to punish but to reform. It is an opportunity for repentance - to realize our mistakes and try to correct them." But in her own words: "God Himself considers certain acts to be abominable. It is those things that we must refrain from". It is important, she emphasized, to resist the temptation of going down the path of "those mistakes" that even God himself frowns on.
In response, the inmates urged the High Commissioner to provide them with essentials such as toiletries and provisions. Each of them also told their eminent visitor the circumstances that led to their being in jail.
The high commissioner noted down their requests and promised to assist them.
As a boost to the prisons' welfare programme, the Nigeria High Commission made a generous donation of valuable items. The donation included 10 bags of rice, 15 pieces of mattresses and 2 gallons of vegetable oil.
The Deputy Director of the prisons, Yahya Jarju, who received the donation with thanks and gratitude, assured the Nigeria High Commissioner that the items would be judiciously used.