President Muhammadu Buhari has pardoned 500 inmates at the Kano Central Prison and donated undisclosed cash to them to start businesses.
The gesture was part of the Buhari-led government’s effort to decongest prisons across the country. The inmates including men and women were selected from the Kurmawa central prison, which is behind the Emir of Kano’s palace.
Buhari, who was in Kano for a two-day official visit, also gave the inmates an undisclosed amount of money that will enable them to transport themselves to their respective towns and villages.
The president was accompanied to the Kano prison by the Minister of Interior, General Abdurrahman Danbazau, and the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, among others.
He charged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity by engaging in any useful venture to enable them to become useful members of the society.
In his remarks, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje also advised the inmates to conduct themselves well and contribute meaningfully to societal development.
Buhari had earlier paid homage to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II. At the Emir’s palace, the President told the Emir that his relationship with Kano emirate council was cordial and would remain as such.
“Kano emirate council has contributed a lot to my life. Whatever I become in my life, I always consult Kano emirate council,” Buhari said.
On the issue of security, the President said his government had played significant roles in restoring peace and harmony in the northeast.
“We have recorded tremendous successes in our efforts to achieve the three agenda of my government; security, economy, and the fight against corruption.
“Nigeria, Chad and Niger Republic have succeeded in crushing Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast. The countries have come together to fight a common goal because without peace and stability we cannot achieve anything,” he said.
Stressing the importance of the north to the country, Buhari said: “If there is peace and stability in the north, there will be peace and stability in the whole country and if there is a problem in the region it will affect the entire country.”
Buhari said he had seen so many things in politics since he joined it in 2003 and stressed the need for Nigerians to understand the difference between a democratic and military administration. His words:
“When I was the military head of state, I arrested many people and jailed them for alleged corruption and I also ended in jail.
“Since I joined politics in 2003, I have contested for president three times but I could not get it right until the fourth attempt in 2015. I was in court for 30 months challenging the 2007 election and in 2011, I also spent 16 months in court.
He lamented that from 1999 to 2014, Nigeria has gotten so much wealth but unfortunately, the money is unaccounted for.
“They squandered the money and we still don’t have constant power supply, no good education for our children and we don’t have good hospitals and roads,” he said.