Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Kano granted amnesty to 500 prison inmates of the Kano Central Prison situated at Kurmawa.
Buhari said the amnesty was part of the federal governmentâ€™s effort to decongest prisons in the country, and urged the beneficiaries of the gesture to be of good behaviour and shun anything that could bring them back to the prisons.
The president, who was in Kano for a two-day official visit, charged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity by engaging themselves in any useful venture to enable them become useful members of the society.
Buhari pledged that prison reforms and decongestion would continue to receive prompt attention from his administration.
â€œI am pleased with this visit and I have learnt a bit more about the conditions of the prisons and inmates,â€ Garba Shehu, senior special assitant on media and publicity, said in a statement.
â€œThis 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.
â€œI asked one of the inmates (released) how old he was and he told me he is only 19 years old.
â€œIf 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.â€
Buhari also gave the inmates an undisclosed amount of money to be shared as transport fare to their respective towns and villages.
Some of the beneficiaries of the amnesty were males and females.
The president was accompanied to the prison by the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Abdurrahman Danbazzau rtd, among others.
Also speaking, Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, charged the inmates to be of good conduct when they reunite with members of their families and the society at large.
Buhari, who had earlier in the day, visited the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, was in Kano to inaugurate some projects initiated by Ganduje.
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.
Today, 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.