President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday freed 500 inmates of the Kurmawa Central Prisons in Kano metropolis as part of the federal government’s efforts to decongest prisons.
Mr. Buhari granted the pardon when he arrived at the prison in company with Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and others as part of his two-day trip to Kano State. While many prisoners were pardoned by the president, others were set free upon Mr. Ganduje's payment of their fines.
Before the pardoning, Kurmawa Central Prisons had 1,398 inmates but a maximum capacity of only 750, leading to gross congestion of the facility.
The president said that the freed inmates, who were both men and women, will receive education, training and rehabilitation in order to reintegrate them into society.
"If we have people of 18 and 19 years in the prison, and there is no continuous training, then their lives will be completely destroyed. We will invest more in education and vocational training," Mr. Buhari said.
Earlier, Mr. Buhari visited the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. He lamented that the state was devastated by Boko Haram, but assured residents that the fight against the terrorist group would continue until it is completely defeated.
"The three things we said in our campaign on security, economy and fighting corruption, nobody will be able to successfully disabuse the minds of Nigerians on our clear intentions for our country and our people," he declared.
See pictures from the president's official visit to Kano State below: