By Ononye VC
Dozens of Onitsha Custodial Centre inmates who participated in the 70th birthday anniversary sports competition of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,Most Rev Valerian Okeke carted away various prizes for excelling in various competitions heralding the Archbishop’s 70th birthday.
A huge number of the inmates,top officials of the custodial centre,priests and other visitors gathered at the open arena inside the custodial centre to watch the finals of the sports competition which included,Egg Race,male and female football,musical chair dance,table tennis and sack race.
The Archbishop while handing over the prizes of wall fans, mattresses and other gift items,said in a brief remark that what he wanted was the happiness of the inmates.
“All of you are my sons and daughters and what I want is your happiness.I look forward to your happiness.I look forward to when people come here and learn skill in our skill acquisition centre so they can be useful when they leave here”.
According to the Archbishop,the Archdiocese has started a secondary school inside the centre and expected that the students will not only learn skills but also learn languages like French,German,Latin etc.
He urged the inmates not to waste the time they spent during incarceration but put it into use by learning skills.
The Onitsha Archdiocesan chaplain of the custodial centre,Rev Fr Barth.Nnamdi Okpalaugo expressed gratitude to the Archbishop for visiting and identifying with the inmates and also ensuring their happiness.
In thesame vein,the Deputy Controller of Corrections in charge of Onitsha,Mr M B Anugwa expressed appreciation to the Archbishop for all his welfare programmes for the inmates and wished him many more years in his service to humanity.
The Archbishop earlier performed the ceremonial kick off of the male final football encounter.