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By Waliyulah Olayiwola
On Wednesday 17 October 2018, LCNetwork carried out her third activity in her activity calendar for year 2018 as four of her distinguished members visited Agodi Prison inmates and Ibadan Motherless Babies home, both in Ibadan.
You will recall that the last activity was a virtual workshop where LCNetwork featured a prominent personality in the field of academics, Prof Mahfouz Adedimeji who spoke at length on the need for kindness. Well, the organization practicalized the lessons learnt in the workshop, again, as the members contributed towards making this humanitarian visits a success.
The four men(and woman) team led by the Convener himself, Mr Waliyulah Olayiwola, are: Mr Anis Rabiu(the Director of Operation, LCNetwork), Mr Ayub Olayiwola (Member, LCNetwork) and Mrs Balikis Alagbe-Olayiwola (Member, LCNetwork).
The team converged at Agodi Gate, Ibadan at 11:30am as planned.
On getting to the portal into the prison where the team would be ushered into the prison, Mrs Alagbe-Olayiwola wasn’t allowed in because of her young daughter.
“We are sorry but infants are not allowed into the prison.” The prison warder protested.
Reluctantly, she stayed behind outside the gate as the rest of the members went in.
A registration into the prison registration book was necessary.
First, all gifts for the inmates which were brought by the LCNetwork Visitation team were recorded. Then, the number of people from LCNetwork going in were also recorded.
Then another gate that led into the main prison was opened. The prison rules provides that prison visitors can meet and interact with the inmates only in the two places of worship, the Church or the Masjid. Since all but none of the LCNetwork team were Muslims, hence, the meeting took place in the Masjid.
What happened after was unexpected. A microphone had been arranged for the team to address the inmates. This was unexpected as the LCNetwork team had only hoped for a casual visit where everyone simply exchanged pleasantries and the gifts, shared.
Well, the responsibility of address fell on the leader of the team, Waliyulah Olayiwola, and he spoke passionately to the inmates on the unending grace of the Almighty God to forgive anyone who has transgressed against their souls.
In his words, “we need to understand that everyone is a sinner, both inmates and non-inmates alike without an exception. Hence, the need for everyone to seek for forgiveness from the Most Gracious and Most Merciful and repent from our sins. He is always ready to forgive our sins once we decide to repent and turn new leaf.”
At the end of the address, which lasted for 45minutes, there was a question and answer session.
Of course, prior to that session the address ended on a powerful call to action. In his words,
“How many of us now have decided as a result of this presentation to truly turn on new leaf?”
Two people, Mr Sodiq and Mr Abdullah Ibrahim, raised up their hands. And you could see the light of sincerity and repentance in their eyes.
Afterwards, one Mr AbdlHameed Imran spoke and call on more visitations from Nigerians especially from muslim faithfuls like themselves saying they’ve been neglected enough by the outside world. In his words,
“We appreciate your visit a lot. It makes us feel human and cared for. If you could encourage people outside to do more of this and visit us with stuffs we need like medicines, toothbrush, toothpaste, bathing soap, used clothes, and so on.”
The team left the prison around 1pm when it was almost time for the Muslim inmates to offer Salat.
Thereafter, the team took the trip to Ibadan Motherless Babies home with gifts; pampers, Golden Morn, Baby Food, Milk Bournfita and other items.
When the team got there around 2pm, all the babies were already observing siesta except one or two. Hence, it was absolutely rude to wake those sweet kids from the sweet break they had from the cruelty of reality.
The team played a little with the ones that were awake. Afterwards, the LCNetwork visiting team bade their farewells by some minutes to 3o’clock and expressed, to the delight of the Home’s attendants, their intention to still visit in future.