By Sunday Ani
The leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth, Lagos State Chapter, Chief Ikenna James, has called on the Nigerians youths, particularly the Igbo youths, to shun crime and any act that could bring them in collision with the law, warning that such action would only end in regrets.
He gave this warning yesterday when he led the executive members of the apex Igbo youth association on a visit to the Kirikiri Correctional Centre in Lagos.
Chief James said the warning became imperative following the recent #ENDSARS protest where some hoodlums allegedly hijacked the peaceful process and recklessly looted public and private property. He also warned the youths against buying any kind of phone or electronic gadgets without knowing their source, stressing that such action could put them in trouble as lots of looted items are currently on sale.
“As a group, we thought it wise to educate our people about crime by visiting the Centre to get firsthand information of what the inmates are passing through, so that our advice will be based on practical experience. We have come and we have seen what the inmates are passing through. It is not a good place to be because your freedom will be taken away from you,” he stated.
The youth leader said the visit was also an avenue to identify with the inmates, show them love and support them through donation of gift items.
The group donated toiletries, edible items, cartons of mineral water, packs of table water and stationeries among others to the inmates. “It is a way of showing them that we are all humans and to remind them that we care for them. The stationeries are for the officers for their day-to-day administrative duties,” he added.
Receiving the group, the Deputy Controller in charge of the Correctional Centre, Prince Mike Okorie, described the gesture as one in a million and reminded them that whatever one gives back to the less privileged, is received by God, who rewards such cheerful givers with more gifts.
“So, your coming here is one of those actions for salvation. Some people here are on life sentences, some are condemned to death, while others are serving various terms of imprisonment. Our duty is to ensure that they leave here as better citizens, who will contribute positively to the society. We don’t want them to leave this place and go back to the same crime that brought them here,” he said.
On the recent youth protest, he said the message by the youths was clear, even as he implored them to give the government a chance to address their grievances. He also advised the youths to shun crime and embrace peace, so they could become useful members of the society.