INDUCTION OF NEW MEMBERS

Prisons Inmates Rehabilitation

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INDUCTION

INDUCTION

By Comrade Pralagian Akinwunmi Olayemi

I welcome you to Pralarg International, but before I go in details into the Induction, I will like to begin with what prompted me into founding this organization

This illustration is actually a personal one. Some time ago I had an experience that changed my life forever; one that contributed immensely to the establishment of PRALARG INT’L. Then I had just been employed in the Nigerian Correctional Service, formally Nigerian Prisons Service as a young man who was out to make sense out of the noble life I had set out to live. We were meant to have an initial orientation for a period of two weeks which involved a lot of classes and lectures before proceeding to the normal six months training. Just at the end of the two weeks of orientation classes, a day was scheduled for us to go visit the prison to start getting acquainted with our new workplace.

As young students, we were quite excited, it was a step closer to our commission into the Nigerian prison service, and for most of us, it was our first time visiting the prison.

When we got there we first toured around the administrative officers, welfare and the female section to know what part of the prison was in charge of a particular task; we were shown the various offices of the senior officers that headed the prisons and soon it was time to get into the visitation proper; the male prison cells.

As we walked into the cells the whole place got a lot darker than the rest parts of the prison. There was barely enough light coming in, there was no point trying to make anything out of their hygiene because it was clear they barely fed well. It was smelly and was really a pitiable sight. The prisoners were clearly overcrowded with all ages and sizes of criminals; young, middle-aged, even the old; our eyes couldn’t get enough of all what we saw that day.

As we walked around in our uniforms that showed we were students, our presence quickly drew the attention of the inmates as they all stared in whatever thoughts they were going through in their mind. Among all the inmates, was a very young handsome man who didn’t hesitate to join our visitation convoy as he walked closely behind engaging us in intelligent discussions; and his communication skills were excellent. The unfriendly environment didn’t reflect in his speech pattern and somehow he had managed to retain his good English accent; it was clear this young man wasn’t meant for the place he had found himself. He spoke with us all through our tour of the prison right until we were about to go see the section for hardened or condemned criminals. That was another world on its own.

The sight was so unimaginable. There were about six to seven inmates living in a very small cell room of just about ten feet; normally meant for not more than 1 person. I could imagine the same question bubbling in my minds and that of my colleagues as well. How were these guys surviving? The sight was clearly too horrible and one could never have imagined humans were subjected to that kind of horrible life; we were made to understand they were hardened and condemned criminals and there were kept there before they were likely killed. They had a small bucket in the room where they all defecated and they ate inside as well. They could all barely fit into the room while standing so I wondered how they managed to sleep and some of them have been there for years.

After the tour, we headed back to the sign-out area to leave and as we walked past the normal cells we met that same intelligent young man. We went back to our class right after the tour to complete the lecture and of course, someone asked our lecturer about the young man that was so intelligent and how he got imprisoned. The story was even more depressing according to our lecturer who knew him all too well.

He had lost his parents right after secondary school and because he couldn’t afford to further his education, he went ahead to learn videoing and became a cameraman and he was quite good at it and upon his graduation from work, he started working on his own but he didn’t have a video camera of his own. Whenever he was invited for a job, he rented from other persons and returned it after his job was done.

He continued like that until one day a friend of his brought a video camera to his house and asked him to help him keep it. He was excited as the friend also gave him the liberty to use it for his jobs pending when he would come back for it.

It was in one of the jobs he went that someone approached him and asked to check the video camera he was using that he resembled his that was stolen some time ago; he freely agreed not knowing the video camera was actually stolen and that was the owner trying to see if it was his own video camera that was stolen some time ago; lo and behold it was it, the owner immediately grabbed him raising a theft alarm and before long the police were invited.

He was arrested and detained in the station, and later arraigned in court. It must have all been like a movie in his eyes; all efforts to reach out to this friend of his who gave him the video camera proved abortive. He gave the address of this his friend but they found nobody when they got there. He had no parents, no siblings, nobody to stand as a broker for him and that was it, someone had to go in; he had to go in for it because the stolen item was found in his possession. He was tried and of course found guilty by the law and he was sentenced to serve 3 years in jail. Just like that; for something he knew nothing about.

Our lecturer had barely finished the story before I started sweating profusely; I became so uncomfortable in class. All through the while he was narrating the story of that young man in jail my mind has stayed on a person that had a similar case; that was me! Prior to that time, I used to have this friend who did a lot of travelling and would always give me things to help him keep. Now few weeks before the visit to the prison that day, that same friend of mine was about to travel, and as usual, approached me with some kind of machine for me to help him keep pending his return from the trip. It was like a transformer, something he explained as what was used to power a swimming pool. He didn’t give me any receipt, nothing just exactly like that young man’s friend had done and it was right under my bed at home. I was naïve; I didn’t know anything about the law then or at least not that part of the law.

A thousand thoughts raced through my mind; I was full of fear as our lecturer kept talking. I never knew something like that could see someone go to jail and of course, I knew ignorance is never an acceptable excuse before the law. I was so uneasy. I was hoping I could wait till the class was over before going home to quickly do away with it but the more I sat the more fear took hold of me. It was two hours before the end of the class but it seemed like two years waiting it out.

Finally, it was time for the end of the class and immediately the lecturer left, I ran out with so much speed that it got everyone surprised but I didn’t care; I was the only one who knew what was going on. I kept on running, right out of the building and down the road where I could get transport to my house. I have never felt that kind of fear in my entire life. You could imagine as a young man who had just gotten a federal government job, Is this how I’m going to end up in prison, like that young man? This thought and many more tormented me as I hurriedly made my way home. When I got to the compound, I slowed down a bit and tried to observe any abnormalities, I also asked a few neighbours around if the police or anyone had come to look for me, and when they said no, my joy knew no bound. I quickly rushed into my house, got the machine from under my bed and when I was sure enough that no one was staring, I quickly packaged it a thick big bag ran behind my house, dug a deep hole and buried it there.

When I was back inside my apartment the fear still didn’t leave me completely. I began rehearsing how best to respond to the police if they came in search of the machine. The right facial expressions, the right tone of voice and everything to reply to them in the best possible way and of course, that meant totally denying I ever received anything from anyone. I stayed in my house all through that day; hoping for the best and expecting the worse, full of fear, I couldn’t eat. I wanted to call my friend even though I knew he was out of town but then again I thought “what if he has been arrested and he was leading the police to my house already as an accomplice; a call from me will just confirm that. So I stayed and waited throughout that day and when nobody came looking for me I managed to calm my anxiety. It was a very terrible experience for me.

The next week when my friend came and asked for his machine, I told him to wait while I go bring it. I spent over 30 minutes digging and trying to bring it out. He was surprised I took so long to bring out the machine and when I finally handed it over to him he asked why I had removed it from under the bed where he kept it. I gave him the excuse of having to keep it somewhere safer as a lot of persons entered my room. That was the last time I ever made such a mistake again. I knew I could have been that young man in prison who was serving, wasting three good years over something he had no idea about; I committed the same crime of conspiracy out of ignorance and there he was paying dearly for it in prison and here I was freely roaming around with prospects of even joining the Nigerian prison service. Then I understood how lucky I was.

It might look like a simple story I have just narrated to you; a lot of us reading this have done it countless times, I mean there’s nothing wrong to help a friend keep something but so was my thinking until I met that young man serving good three years in prison for helping someone keep something, a stolen item he knew absolutely nothing about. He was a victim of circumstance and was equally suffering because of his ignorance. If only he had known he could be jailed for something like that he wouldn’t dare accept to keep it.

That experience was all it took for me to conceive the idea of PRALARG INT’L because then I could only imagine how many more people like that young man were serving and suffering terribly over a crime they didn’t commit all because of their ignorance. I knew I had to do something to avoid more cases like that. I found out that just like me then, a lot of people do not know these things about the law and they seem rather reluctant to learn until it happens to them. You might be a good person who was just helping a friend out but what does the law say about it? Because at the end of the day; it is the rule of law that will come supreme; not your goodwill or personal version of the story. And so I conceived to establish a humanitarian organization that will be dedicated to archiving a crime-free society by sensitizing people, educate them about the law and prevent them from committing costly offences like that which they previously considered normal; with the aim of constantly reducing the influx of people in our prison cells as well as advocate for a better prison welfare system for inmates.

The PRALARG family believes in the supremacy of the rule of law, defence of the fundamental human rights of individuals but how do you preach what you do not know, not to mention do. I understand you must have gone through good training building up to your induction today but induction doesn’t make you all-knowing

PRALARG is as well an intellectual organization so members must always seek after a good and relevant knowledge and it is not restricted to literates alone. You don’t have to be a professor of English language before you know your rights and what the law says about it. We equally go out to sensitize people on the social issues that we are committed to solving and we need to first be knowledgeable to do that.

People suffer basically because they step in the wrong direction. We often find ourselves in complex situations and the decisions and steps we take will either affect us positively or negatively. When you make the wrong decision chances are, you will get the wrong results and likely suffer for it; as long as the earth still exists, nothing will change about the principle of sowing and reaping. We have highlighted fear and ignorance as part of the major reasons people suffer in the country so if you sow the bad seeds of ignorance or fear; you will reap the fruits of oppression, exploitation and suffering. May we never step in the wrong direction.

WHY STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

 

Everything we do in life is hinged on the decisions we make, whether positive or negative”

–  Comrade Pralagian Akinwunmi Olayemi

PRALARG motto says “Step in the right direction”; a motto is also referred to as a guiding principle and while it is a highly inspirational and captivating one, it is sacrosanct to understand the very essence of this phrase. For as PRALARGIANS it is not just enough to memorize and recite the motto but it is also pertinent that we believe in the message it carries and truly let it guide our thoughts and actions as it is meant to. So why then has PRALARG chosen this particular motto? Why do we say “step in the right direction” as its motto despite the availability of other phrases?

If there is any prayer we should all take seriously in life; I believe, it is that God should always order our steps in the right direction. Step in the right direction simply means taking the right decisions, taking the right steps and making the right choices per time. Everything we seek in life is gotten just when we take the right decision. If you seek financial prosperity, take the right financial steps and decisions and it will come through. If you seek academic flourishing, then take the right step to study diligently and you will do well. Even in the bible, the Israelites were very victorious in their wars because they always sought the face of God before going out for any battle. Our ancestors from the west wouldn’t go out to settle in any new land without seeking the face of the Ifa Oracle. The bottom line is that we all need a good faith, principle to guide us in our day to day activities.

By the grace of God, PRALARG INT’L has grown way just more than a normal body, it is a family and has become a beacon of hope and light in a dim and cold world. As a member, you are equally a representative of the goodwill and objectives of the organization which is changing the world and the first step to archiving that is making sure you are first changed. You cannot give what you don’t have; you can’t be doing things wrongly and try to make the world right.  It is this same philosophy we share on our sensitization programs, we need each and every one of us to do things right; when people do things right and step in the right direction, there will be no lesser or no crimes, there will be fewer people going to prison, less recidivist and the society equally becomes better; and all these are but visions and objectives of PRALARG INT’L.

The importance of a good guiding principle cannot be overemphasized, it literally sums up all we do and that is why here in PRALARG INT’L we chose to step in the right direction as our own guiding principle to always remind us of our calling as ambassadors of hope and change to humanity. Stepping in the wrong direction has cost a lot of people dearly and a lot are still going through hell because they once stepped in the wrong direction whether knowingly or out of ignorance. That is why we shun every atom of fear and strongly frown at ignorance. Stepping in the right direction also involves knowing your rights and exercising them without fear. Here is a simple story and illustration to help us understand better.

There used to be a man who lived a comfortable life, he owned about 2 buildings, several transport vehicles and employed drivers who worked directly under him. His wife owned a supermarket as well and his children attended one of the best private schools in town. One day in his wife’s shop, a young man came in; picked a few items and turned to walk out and immediately she noticed, she quickly shouted “thief” drawing everyone’s attention to the young lad who was still walking away. In no time a crowd who wouldn’t bother to ask questions had gathered around the boy and started beating him. Now, this is the first lesson from this illustration; as a PRALAGIAN, always ask questions, make the necessary enquiries before arriving at a conclusion on any matter. Never judge after hearing from just one party; it’s called the fair hearing and every citizen has the right to be heard.

It took the effort of a few policemen who quickly rushed to the scene to stop the beating but the boy was already badly injured and bleeding profusely. The crowd quickly dispersed upon seeing the police and the boy was quickly rushed to receive medical care but sadly the boy was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

That woman had taken a step in the wrong direction by instantly tagging someone a thief without even trying to confirm her assertions. It was possible the boy had dropped the money somewhere in the shop without her notice; it could have been possible she owed the young boy some change from the previous day and the boy had only picked an item worth the amount she owed him but instead of hearing the boy out first, she decided to conclude on the matter. For even if the boy had actually stolen from her and she had done the right thing to apprehend him and involve the police; he would have been charged for theft but definitely he wouldn’t have been sentenced to death so obviously the woman had gone too far and it was already too late as her husband was quickly detained by the police.

The second lesson here is that we should never take laws into our hands. We should always involve the police and constituted authorities, let them handle it in the right way; remember it’s all about stepping in the right direction “always”!

Upon the death of the young boy who was accused of theft, another fresh case began and of course, the police wouldn’t fail to try to exploit the man who had to go in. The police literally made him an ATM machine and of course, out of fear of staying in prison, he fell for every one of their threats as they kept reminding him it was a murder case and his wife could even be sentenced to death if he didn’t succumb. He began by selling his cars while she was in prison, the buildings followed and when the case was finally over he and his family were left with nothing; everything was gone because he knew nothing about legal proceedings, his fundamental rights as well as the right to seek redress in court, and fear of police threats. The thirds lesson here is – Always know your rights and entertain no fear; never be caught in the web of ignorance and fear or else you will suffer.

At the end of the day a once rich man was reduced to nothing and he became a driver for other persons, he could no longer afford the good expensive schools for his children and his wife’s supermarket crashed in no time. All these happened because of a single thread on the wrong path by that woman; a careless step in the wrong direction. If only she or the crowd had taken the right step to engage in fair hearing and heard the young boy’s side of the story; if only she was a bit patient and not acted out of anger if only the husband wasn’t ignorant if only he wasn’t caged in fear, maybe, just maybe things would have gone differently and the story wouldn’t have turned out this bad for everybody.

This illustration is a subtle reminder of how bad things can easily go when we take a wrong decision. That is why PRALARG INT’L chooses this motto; to constantly engage our subconscious and keep us alert always. ‘Step in the right direction’. As PRALARGIANS, never downplay on the motto, let it be your watchword and be vigilant. May God help us to always thread the right path.

A PROBLEM WE ALL KNOW

“It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free”

– Jiddu Krishnmurti

 Africa is the continent with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty; according to reports by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria has been labelled to be one of the countries with the most people living in poverty with over 40.1% of its population classified as poor. What this means is that on average; four out of 10 individuals in Nigeria live on less than $1 dollar in a day. Let us spare the sad and annoying political story why we have achieved this rather unfortunate feat and see what this translates in the society of which we are all part of.

Over time, we have seen that when people do not meet up with their basic demands in life, they may resort to crime as a survival strategy. Crime is easily explained as doing something wrong or relating to immorality, in legal parlance, it is associated with the breaking of laws and rules for which an instituted authority can ultimately make a conviction. Crime is as well any act or an omission that is forbidden, for the protection of the public, by law and is liable to be punished in any legal proceeding but unfortunately as the poverty increases, so has the rate of crime increased

It is, therefore, no news that there is so much suffering going on in Africa and for whatever be the reason, fear, ignorance, bad political regimes it is high time someone did something about it. For a Nigerian, suffering means much more than just being poor or not having enough to eat; suffering can also mean a total decadence in the physical, spiritual, social and emotional life of an individual. Sadly a poor man in Nigeria does not only suffer from lack of money; he suffers injustice, oppression and embarrassment from the rich, constituted authorities like the police on almost a daily bases.

According to the World Bank Group; countries and regions with a higher number of persons suffering and living in poverty tend to experience a higher level of crime occurrences and other social vices. This goes to further impair the development of such country and literally worsen the already bad situation. Society doesn’t flourish in the midst of increasing crime rates, businesses don’t boom, the tourism sector is laid to waste, investors are discouraged, and schools, social, as well as religious activities, are equally affected negatively.

We have seen these things play out to be true in front of our very eyes, and we still see it daily. It is a problem we all know but the truth is we have looked away for too long and we have become like the man who sleeps when his roof is on fire. It is no mistake or coincidence that over 60% of suspects apprehended by the Nigerian police for theft, arm robbery and closely related offences confess to having gotten involved in crime because of their abject poverty and only seek to come out of their suffering. The story doesn’t get any different even amongst convicted criminals in the Nigerian Prisons; while some admit to having committed the crime, they never fail to point out how the harsh realities of the society had encouraged their life of criminality.

One does not bring a tree down by cutting its branches; poverty, oppression, crime, and other ills of the society are branches of a bad tree and if we seek to bring it down then we must focus on its roots. Now haven seen the extent of suffering in Nigerian and the negative implications it has on the society; It is, therefore, imperative to ask the right question and seek to answer it sincerely. Why do we suffer?

There are various reasons why people suffer worldwide but the Nigerian reality clearly points out to a few reasons why people truly suffer; they are:

  1. FEAR:

It is not death that a man should fear; but he should fear never beginning to live”

– Marcus Aurelius

Fear is the major reason why people suffer in our country. We have too many fears, fear of the unknown, fear for life, fear of pain, fear of death, we Africans want to live for a hundred years plus but I tell you it is not in the number of years lived on earth but the manner in which you lived and impact you make during your lifetime. There are some people that didn’t live more than 50 but their names will forever be in records and generations unborn will continue to sing their praise. Jesus is a perfect example of this. Live a life of purpose and that is not possible when you have fear in you. From the book of Psalms 56:3, 94:19, 1 Peter 5:7, to Hebrews 13: 6, there were countless instances in the bible where the bible literally condemns fear. The most popular would be in 2 Timothy 1:7, the bible says that – God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Clearly whoever is full of fear is not a true child of God and whoever is not a true child of God is will not enter his kingdom. Revelations 21:8 says – But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers. And whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. So you see that fear, for whatever reason is not of God. Asides the fear for Allah, the holy Quran doesn’t support fear either. Our problem is that we claim to be religious but only takes the part that suits us. We are scared because we do not know; we fear because we are ignorant and while it important that we avoid ignorance, it behoves us to have an act of befitting courage to express our selves. I have seen educated people who seem to know their rights being oppressed despite their knowledge because of fear.

So yes knowledge is not just enough but confidence and courage to express yourself and stand for what is right no matter the circumstance are as well important. If you know your rights and coward at the sight of policemen or random threats then you will suffer whatever the ignorant man suffers too. Some people are still suffering today because they have not taken some business decisions out of fear of risk. Some persons are also suffering today because they have equally made terrible decisions out of fear. As PRALARGIANS you should never make decisions in these two situations; out of fear and out of anger. Many have been sent to prison because of irrational decisions made out of fear. John F Kennedy, one time US president once advised You should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate”

When someone threatens you as it happens often in Nigeria and says “I will deal with you, I will torment you with the police and send you to jail”. Never respond out of fear just because you heard police. You might only end up admitting to committing a crime you know absolutely nothing about or say something that will only incriminate you. In a case where you parked your car wrongly and a police officer threatens to arrest you and take you to court; you just laugh because you know about the law and sure enough that parking wrongly can only warrant fines.

Let it be known this day that nobody can deal with you unless you give them a chance to; so when someone is trying to tempt you, never reply out of anger, take your time, keep your calm, record if you can record and watch them rant all they can. Your silence alone is already an intimidating factor. Some will say “Comrade, but fear is a natural thing in every human and we were all created with it” Well yes you were created with it, you must feel fear at some point or the other as humans but you can also control it.

Most times the best way to control fear or anger is to keep your calm, it is better than saying something implicating. That is why even the police advise you to remain silent when you are arrested or whatever you said might be used against you in the court of law. They know you might be scared or angry depending on your mood upon the arrest and decisions and words uttered out of anger and fear are not always the best. This has sent so many persons to jail, an irrational response out of fear or anger.

One terrible mistake we make is to think that a law court is a place where we can come to get the truth or shout loudly so the magistrate or judge can hear us. As a matter of fact, the court doesn’t judge emotions or yelling, the court doesn’t tell you the truth either; it only weighs evidence and proofs and makes its judgments from what seems to be the truth before it. That is why we have to be careful of what we do and say; especially when we are afraid or angry.

Let us consider this illustration; In a case where a man whispers to your ear and says “I will destroy your car” without anyone else hearing except you, and then out of anger you pick up a steel rod and shout back at him “I will destroy yours first” in the sight of everyone and they even take pictures and video of you threatening him back. Now imagine if something happens to that man’s car a few days later and he accuses and arraigns you in court for destroying his property, who do you think will win the case? I’m sure you know the answer already. He will definitely win because you have no evidence to prove he threatened you first; not even the witnesses there heard or saw anything but he has tangible evidence against you.

Also in a situation where someone owes you a particular amount of money and fails to pay back within the agreed time so you march to his house out of anger and collects one of his properties; well you have committed a criminal offence called the illegal conversion of property punishable by law. In such a case, you have just given your debtor a chance to deal with you. There are countless illustrations but the lesson is that you must never act out of fear or anger. Fear has proven to be a very potent weapon for oppression and so we must be wary of it.

  1. IGNORANCE:

When you know better, you do better”.

 – Oprah Winfrey.

Every action a man carries out is first of all conceived in the mind; either good or bad, these thoughts are however weighed on our perceptions and these perceptions of ours are formed based on what we know; the very extent of knowledge we possess. As humans, we simply cannot do more than what we know. No one wakes up one morning suddenly knowing how to fly a jet, neither is anyone born with the ability to operate a crane for instance; we all learn and so it is even in our daily activities.

A man commits evil because he thinks evil so I believe it is safe to say when a man consistently thinks of good things, he ends up doing good things; it all boils down to what we know. If I make the right decision in my business, choose a perfect location, employ the right staff and fix the right prices then I will definitely make progress but if I make the wrong decision; then I will equally have befitting results. In a country as ours of which we have highlighted poverty as one of the major problems, making the wrong decisions in technical, financial and social matters is also a leading cause of suffering. There are some things that God will not do for us because he has empowered us enough to do it ourselves. The bible in Hosea chapter 4:1 said: “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Even God understands the relevance of knowing the right thing and doing it, we have been given a brain therefore it is only pertinent that we steadily go in pursuit of knowledge.

Obviously one of the reasons why humans suffer is ignorance. We all possess enormous powers as humans in our various capacities but because we do not even know we have such powers we fail to utilize it and suffer for it. When we know the right thing to do then we simply do it and get the desired result. If I am a millionaire today and I make the wrong financial decisions I can become broke in a matter of months. Decisions! You are reading this as a PRALARGIAN because you have decided to be here, to dedicate your life in something meaningful; in service to God and humanity.

Now in a more relative sense to the society; a citizen who knows his rights and exercises it with confidence will be difficult to oppress and not suffer social injustice. They will not suffer oppression from the police or anybody. Hence we have reasoned that if everything is first conceived in the mind, and since a considerably large percentage of these inmates are in prison over their ignorance which is sadly not an excuse in the court of law, then what if we go to the grassroots and sensitize these people early enough, educate them, feed their ignorance with relevant knowledge so they don’t even have to go to prison at all; definitely when they know better they will do better.

Some of you have joined PRALARG out of doubt; some have heard Comrade Akinwuni Olayemi speak on radio and you say all these things this man says is certainly not true; at least not in this country Nigeria and so you are here to prove me wrong and clear your doubt, well you are welcome! There used to be someone like that who admitted to having initially doubted the operations of PRALARG and when he joined, he was given the proper orientation, about his fundamental human rights and the power he legitimately possesses, he was able to reclaim the money from the land he sold over two years ago. Before then he had suffered oppression but upon receiving the right knowledge, when he came out of ignorance and knew the right thing to do, he was able to put an end to that particular suffering. Knowledge is power!

Always ask yourself “what do I know?  A little knowledge about something can save you a great deal. Never be caught off guard over your ignorance because if you are found wanting the excuse on ignorance will not, and never save you from the wrath of the law so always be cautious and seek knowledge. Never trust anybody no matter how close they are to you. Let us consider this illustration.

There is this young man who owns a car and one day on his way to work, he saw an old friend standing along the road, he decides to give him a ride but then his friend explains that he has two other men moving with him whom he doesn’t know but because of his trust for his old-time friend, he still carries them all. On their way both men beg him to make a stop that they wish to quickly salute someone, in a bid to be nice, he stops and after a few minutes they return to the car and ask me to move on but unknown to him they had just gone to rob a jewellery shop. After a few minutes’ drive, they got to a junction and stepped down and they all went their separate ways.

In the evening while returning from work, the man passes through the same route but suddenly people began pointing angrily at his car and the police quickly stop him and put him under arrest for suspected robbery; now except that friend of his that made him stop in the first place is quickly apprehended and he writes a statement clearly vindicating him from the crime, If he is tried in court he will definitely be found guilty of conspiracy because as far as the evidence and witnesses are concerned, he conspired to aid a robbery operation by providing transport for the robbers.

The lesson from this illustration is not to make you suspicious of everyone or stop offering stranded strangers a ride but it is an insight to how one can easily get into serious trouble over ignorance; what he knows nothing about. The lesson is for us to be careful with people we call friends and not be quick to trust. As PRALARGIANS you must be wary of the company you keep and cautious enough to quickly observe unusual activities around you.

CONCLUSION

“A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society”

– Bhimaro Ambedkar

The prison and the society are different sides of the same coin; they are two linked worlds that have a lot to contribute to global peace, depending largely on the way we handle them. The prison is only an extended part of the society we live in; no one was born in those prison cells, they were first in the normal society until something happened and they were arrested, convicted and sent to jail. If we fail to help the vulnerable in society, the prison will become more flooded with inmates than it already is and it will eventually lose its original purpose and credibility. Likewise, if we fail to help or reform the inmates, then we should rest assured that upon their release, these set of people we have refused to reform will make the society a living hell and so the ugly circle continues.

A greater percentage of the inmates in our prisons are there as victims of circumstances; many out of ignorance, many because they were consumed by fear, a lot still awaiting trials. The fact still remains that if we do what we are supposed to do as good citizens and members of society, they wouldn’t be there in the first place. A lot of us might consider this less important; after all, none of our relatives is in prison but it doesn’t save us all from this impending danger that this menace further poses to the society for if we are not the ones directly affected by these crimes then we have children who will go out every day to school, we equally have siblings, other family relatives, colleagues, friends who are vulnerable and if they are affected we will be affected one way or the other so this should be everybody’s fight. And I tell you this day as PRALAGIANS your names are already written in gold for your service to both God and humanity. You are God’s angel to make the world a better place. In Today’s world where everyone seems to be concerned only about things that would enrich their pockets, you have spared your time, resources and energy to be here, to be a member of PRALARG INT’L. You are a living legend.

Finally, my fellow comrades, I want to urge you to be careful in your dealings. A king doesn’t meddle in the affairs of peasants. You are kings now by virtue of your induction; ambassadors of a great family and so you have a lot of persons looking up to you. You now represent something bigger than you or your personal interest. Never indulge in any activity that would bring your name or the name of PRALARG INT’L down the mud. If you do, you have only betrayed the very essence you decided to join. This is why you have been trained and given the necessary orientation. Now you are no longer ignorant; you know and you are not afraid so always seek to step in the right direction.

PRALARG INT’L is a child of vision and has come to stay. It is a family that will keep living and getting stronger even when we are all gone. PRALARG INT’L is a family; it is a legacy, a good legacy to leave for the world and I don’t know about you but in years to come let my children, grandchildren and generations after me, know that Comrade Pralagian Akinwunmi Olayemi served God and humanity with his resources and he was among the few that tried to make a world a better place. PRALARG INT’L is not for those who want to show off as humanitarians, we do this out of love, we do this for posterity. Within our first few years of operation, we have been able to achieve so much and by God’s grace it will keep getting better; our passion for change gave birth to PRALARG INT’L and we believe that the best time to act is NOW!

 

 

Comrade Akinwunmi Olayemi

3 Comments

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