The Justice Development and Peace Movement with some of the members of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo celebrated the joys of Christmas with inmates at the Nigerian Prisons Service, Lagbondoko, Oyo, Oyo State on Wednesday 26th December, 2018.
Msgr Anthony Olawumi who represented the Bishop of Oyo diocese together with Fr Clement Isola – the Bishop’s secretary and Fr Gabriel Adeleke – the Director of JDPM led the delegation that comprised Reverend Sisters, JDPM staffs and members of parishes within Oyo bearing gifts and the Christmas message. Monsignor Olawumi made it known in the Christmas message that Christ brought peace to the world as God’s love is planted among us through his birth but we need to carry our crosses just like Christ did before we can achieve that peace. He continued that there is opportunity for mistakes but we also must accept the corrections and punishments attached to the mistakes.
SP Ige welcoming the entourage on behalf of the prison authority appreciated the Catholic Diocese of Oyo for always associating themselves with the plights and conditions of the inmates and contributing towards their well-being. He used the opportunity to enlighten the visitors that the prisons are no longer places where harsh and cruel punishments are being meted out but places where people are changed for the better. There was a special Christmas carol rendition by the prison choir and the Franciscan Novices after which Fr Clement Isola presented gifts of drugs for the betterment of the prison inmates on behalf of the Bishop.
Mr Ayinde one of the prison officials while giving the vote of thanks applauded how helpful the Catholic church has been through the JDPM and also directly, he lamented how wonderful it would have been if other churches were emulating the Catholic Church. He also used the medium to further ask for the support of the church in getting a megaphone to make communication easier, completing the prison chapel building to enable the Christian inmates to worship God befittingly and repairing the vehicles for the benefit of the prisoners who need to be transported to and from courts.
Pastor David Ilugbusi – the prison chaplain prayed for the Catholic Church and all her dealings, for the inmates and for justice and peace in our country Nigeria and Monsignor Anthony Olawumi gave the final blessings after which the gifts were handed to the prison authority for distribution to the prisoners.