By Ononye VC
The federal government of Nigeria has given approval for the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha to commence fencing work at the N100m skill acquisition centre which the church erected inside the Federal Correctional Centre, Onitsha (formerly Onitsha prisons).
The metropolitan archbishop of Onitsha, the Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, broke the news on Easter Sunday when he paid his yearly visit to the staff and inmates of the centre.
The construction of the huge skill acquisition centre was started by the archdiocese in 2018 and has since been completed and equipped but has awaited approval for fencing.
The archbishop inspected the skill acquisition centre with authorities of the Federal Correctional Centre, state government officials, priests and top lay officials of the archdiocese.
Earlier in his homily, Archbishop Okeke prayed for the inmates, emphasised the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to Christians, and gave them words of consolation.
He donated 3 cows, toiletries, cakes, biscuits and cooked items enough to go round.
The chaplain of the correctional centre, Rev. Fr Nnamdi Okpalaugo, expressed gratitude to the archbishop for his visit.
The Anambra State commissioner for education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma Udeh, who represented the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, promised that the state government would partner with the correctional centre to improve its educational facility.
Also, the controller of corrections in Anambra State, Mr Patrick Chukwuemeka, thanked the archbishop for his love and kindness to the inmates, stating that the centre has benefitted a lot from him.
The director of the Onitsha archdiocesan Catholic Women Organisation, Dr Ngozi Nwanosike, and the president general of the Catholic Men Organisation, Sir Evarist Uba, were among the top lay officials on the visit.
Also present were the chancellor of the archdiocese, Rev. Fr Prudentius Emeka Aroh; the vice chancellor, Rev. Fr Basil Ekwunife; the secretary to the archbishop, Rev. Fr Kevin Chukwuka; and a host of other priests and the religious.