President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday attended a ceremony in Kurmawa Central Prison Kano where 500 prisoners regained freedom.
According to a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, the inmates were either pardoned or set free upon the payment of fines by Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
The President graced the occasion with his presence during his two-day working visit to the state, his first since he was elected in 2015.
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Addressing the freed inmates, he asked them to remain law-abiding and stay away from committing crimes that may likely lead them back to prison.
“I am pleased with this visit and I have learnt a bit more about the conditions of the prisons and inmates. This 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. I asked one of the inmates (released) how old he was and he told me he is only 19 years old.
“If 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,” he said.
Kano Central Prison is one of the most congested detention facilities in Nigeria but Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says the ongoing renovation of the facility is geared towards decongesting the prison.
Speaking earlier at the Emir’s palace while on a visit to the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, Buhari said, “I know Kano people are aware of the tremendous job we did on security and agriculture.”
He explained that the stability of the north and Nigeria is paramount and he is determined to make Nigeria a peaceful country.
After granting amnesty to the 500 inmates at the state’s central prison, President Buhari also commissioned the Panshekara by Madobi junction Underpass and the CBN Quarters by Hotoro road.