An assortment of clothing and medicines has been donated to Muslim inmates at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons by a group of Muslims in commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Mohammed.
The donation, an annual affair which has been running for the past fifteen years, is put together by Alhaji Sibaway Zakariya, aka Paapa Angola and Malam Faatullahi.
The Imam of the Nsawam Prisons, DSP Mohammed Muktar Adam who expressed delight said the contents would be inspected today.
The prison Imam speaking on the health of the inmates explained that “the National Health Insurance Scheme assessed the health needs of the inmates after which it registered them.” “Unfortunately, the drugs required to support the clinic is still out of reach of the facility.”
The visit to the facility was led by the National Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu who prayed for the inmates and the country’s peace. He told the inmates to give everything to God.
Paapa Angola who had chats with some of the Muslim inmates expressed worry at the number of youth from the faith in the prison.
According to him most of the Muslim inmates got into prison through bad upbringing and prayed parents to ensure that they bring up their children properly.
Some of those who find themselves in prisons suffered the effects of broken homes. “I met a young man who had his leg amputated. As a diabetic patient he had a sore but this degenerated and had to be amputated. Now the other leg too has developed symptoms as the first one.”
The inmate whose name we are withholding is serving 50 years but appears to have served ten years already.
Paapa Angola painted another pathetic picture of an inmate whose wife came to visit him with his three year old daughter.
“He picked his little daughter and put her on his back. His family members who had come to visit him broke down upon seeing the spectacle. He is serving time for robbery. He told me how he was nabbed with a firearm during a robbery operation. He is serving a fifty year jail term” he said.
There are close to 900 Muslim inmates in the Nsawam Prison. While some of them are there for robbery others were jailed for doing drugs.
One of them complained about how even after a promise by the President to order a remission of the sentences of some prisoners, nothing has happened so far.
“The president promised that he would pardon a certain category of prisoners such as those jailed for fraud and stealing but only 51 were released under this. Some 349 inmates were interviewed but to date there are still here. The general amnesty which was promised last year is yet to happen,” he said.
At the time of the visit to donate the drugs, the prison had a population of 3,350 inmates with Muslim youth making close to a thousand, a figure which Paapa Angola found outrageous especially those jailed for robbery.
The items which were donated were made available by various groupings one of them Intergovernmental Institution For Micro Algae Spirilula Against Malnutrition (IIMSAM) through its Egyptian goodwill ambassador.
By A.R. Gomda