A utility-van worth N3.8 million was donated to the Abeokuta Prisons, Oba, Ogun by the Grassroots Initiative for Poverty Eradication and Liberation of the Poor (GIPELP), an NGO, on Sunday
Kayode advocated public-private partnership toward improving the welfare of inmates and vulnerable members of the society.
The President of the NGO, Mr Aliu Kayode, expressed the hope that more inmates awaiting trial would have access to justice with the collaboration of all stakeholders.
He said that the era of pointing accusing fingers at the government for the deplorable state of the nation was gone.
[quote_center]”If we love our neighbours as ourselves, nobody will suffer in this country because we are blessed with so many wealthy citizens.[/quote_center]
Individuals and groups should begin the process of contributing to the society as a way of complementing government’s efforts, he said.
“We have realised that poverty is the root of crime in this country and our organisation is looking at how to contribute its quota toward reducing it,” he said.
He said that the prisons required about 12 utility vehicles to ensure that inmates were conveyed to courts at the appropriate time to fast-track the dispensation of justice.
Receiving the vehicle, Mr Kayode Odeyemi, a Deputy Controller of Prisons, who is in-charge of the prisons, said such gesture would enhance government’s efforts at decongesting the prisons.
Odeyemi urged other private organisations and development partners to support the government in its bid to reduce the number of persons awaiting trial in prisons across the country.
He expressed delight that the vehicle was constructed in a shape that would fit into the logistics and operations of the prisons.
“If I tell you that we have enough vehicles to transport inmates to the courts, I am just deceiving myself.
“In this prison, we have two unserviceable vehicles that we have been contending with for about five years, whereas we have 37 courts in the state.
“This means that what we have is grossly inadequate and for us to work effectively and at optimal capacity, we need at least 12 vehicles,” he said.
He urged corporate organisations, religious bodies and well-meaning individuals to support government’s efforts toward alleviating the plights of inmates across the country.