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SMEDAN, CU Group Empower 50

NO fewer than 50 awaiting trial inmates of the Kirikiri Medium Prison, Lagos have been trained in some trades. They received training in areas, such as soap making, interior decoration, events planning and Psychology.
The training was executed by Prison Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN),with support from Covenant University (CU), Ota, Ogun State, Nigerian Prison Service and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
At the Sixth Graduation, a representative of the CU Vice Chancellor, Prof A. M. Gesinde said there could be no peace without justice. Noting some injustices in the prison system, the don asked: “Who are those perpetrating injustices in our society? If justice is delayed, justice is denied – why is justice delayed unduly in our nation/ Why is it that the less privileged individuals in our society are the ones prone to unending injustices? and why is justice elusive in our judiciary system?”
Gesinde said there was much to be done to enthrone justice in the country, adding: “A vote for peace and justice in Nigeria is an expensive task that must be executed by all and sundry.”
SMEDAN Director-General, Alhaji Bature Masari, urged the beneficiaries to see the training as a life-changing programme, make something out of it and be lifted thereby. He also urged Nigerians to do their best on how to make the society better and avail themselves of the objectives of SMEDAN.
In a report, PFN’s Project Coordinator Pastor N. O. Sule-Bamigbola said while 42 participated in the Onisemus Project of the PFN, 18 passed out. He thanked its partners for their support. He listed the project’s challenges as inadequate funding, mentors, aftercare personnel and equipment.
He described the project as the last hope of the inmates, which can restore them to worthy living after their ‘terms’. He said there were reports that many former inmates’ lives had been transformed and made productive to themselves and humanity after receiving the training.
Pastor Sule-Bamigbola said PFN plans to register the Onisemus Project as an entity and open offices in other states.
A beneficiary of the project Emmanuel Daniel praised PFN for the training. Daniel, who was a trader before his ordeal, said among others, that the programme helped to hone his skills in music, adding that he also benefited from its anger management training.
He said though many of his colleagues applied, only 30 were considered. He lamented that while at the ‘prison’as an awaiting trial inmate, there were reports that he had lost his accommodation and property and was returning home to start life again, but that with the training he had received, there was hope for him.
Another female beneficiary, who refused to be named, said initially, she was abandoned until Onisemus executives picked her up. She listed the business training as her area of interest, adding: “I did business before and I failed. Now I have realised my mistake.”

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