A former governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame, on Tuesday joined his excited colleagues to celebrate stylish Christmas haircuts offered to 300 inmates of Kuje Prison in the Federal Capital Territory.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the free haircut was offered by the National Association of Barbers and Salon Employers of Nigeria during a Christmas visit to the prison.
The visit was undertaken in collaboration with Fades and Bangs Global, an Abuja-based international barbing outfit, and Maria Luna, the Deputy Ambassador of Venezuela.
A NAN correspondent, who covered the visit, reports that the inmates also received blankets, beverages, among other items.
Nyame, who did not require a haircut at the time, watched with excitement as his colleagues danced to the deafening music after the haircuts and carvings that saw some spotting hairstyles like “punk’’, “Afro’’, “Steve Wonder’’ and “curls.’’
The former Taraba governor, who is serving a 14-year jail term, lauded NABSEN for the kindness, describing it as “touching.’’
“They (prison inmates), are very happy; they are looking beautiful and radiant on Christmas day,’’ Nyame said.
He said the NABSEN initiative was “very excellent,’’ adding that his colleagues would “always remember this show of concern.’’
“There is a rush for the service. Everyone wants to come out for the haircut. It is difficult to control them. There is a rumble inside the yard. I have never seen the inmates this happy since I came here,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Musa Mantu, Chairman, Board of Trustees of NABSEN, told the Controller of the prison, Mr Innocent Onoja, that the gesture was to “make the inmates look and feel good on Christmas day.’’
“We want the inmates to know that we remember them and care for them.
“We also want to encourage them and let them understand that being in prison is not the end of life; we want them to feel positive and be inspired by the prison experience to succeed in life after serving out their terms,’’ he said.
Mantu, son of a former Deputy Senate President, promised that NABSEN would make the visit an annual event and strive to get more items toward a better life for the inmates.
Onoja, in his response, thanked NABSEN for the gesture which he described as “very encouraging and good for the season.’’
“I am particularly appreciative of the blankets because of the cold weather; we need to keep the inmates warm and in good condition and spirit,’’ he said.
Onoja said the facility sometimes faced difficulties in providing enough mattresses, mats, toiletries, disinfectants and blankets, and would appreciate support from outside.
The Venezuelan envoy, Luna, said the embassy offered to procure blankets for the inmates as part of efforts to assist vulnerable members of the society.
She commended the prison authorities for keeping the facility “very neat and habitable’’, and expressed the readiness to work with organisations committed to helping the poor.
The “Provost-General’’ of the prison inmates, who gave his name as “Bekke’’, said the barbers had “made our Christmas’’ by the visit.
“This is the first time we are getting this quality haircut here. It is a good innovation. For a corporate organisation to offer this service free is very laudable. It is fun and very encouraging,” he said.
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