Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment and Supervising Aviation Minister, Dr. Samuel Ortom burst into tears and wept uncontrollably for several minutes in the Makurdi Prisons where he visited prison inmates.
Dr. Ortom had led a delegation of the Oracle Foundation which he had founded in 2001 and journalists to the prison to witness the release of six inmates whose fines the foundation had paid.
It was the conclusion of a program during which 19 inmates in the Gboko Prisons and six from the Otukpo Prisons whose fines had similarly been paid had been released.
No one saw it coming.
But few minutes after he sat down and faced the inmates who had been arranged on benches a few meters in his front he burst into tears.
Former Managing Director of Oracle Business Limited, Dr. Judah Mike Angou, who was making introductions was as bewildered as the Minister’s wife Eunice, then Deputy Controller of Prisons, Mr. Daniel Odharo, then Benue State Information Commissioner, the late Engr. Conrad Wergba, and others on the entourage.
Dr. Angou abandoned the task on hand and joined the Minister’s wife to calm him down.
Dr. Ortom’s aides tried unsuccessfully to prevent journalists from recording the scene.
Later when he had calmed down he disclosed that he had been moved with compassion to look at the young inmates as his children and the most elderly as his father.
The Minister appealed to them to change their fortunes by committing their lives to Jesus Christ who he said has made the difference in his life since he committed his life to Him in 1979.
He announced the donation of five tyres for the vehicle which conveys the inmates to the courts and cash to service it.
Earlier, Pastor Thomas Igyah of the Full Gospel Revival Crusade Church Gboko had urged the inmates to repent and seek God’s forgiveness.
The late Engr. Wergba commended the Oracle Foundation for fulfilling the Biblical injunction of visiting prisoners.
He pledged to bring the needs of the prison to the attention of the Governor.
Chairperson of the foundation, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, explained that the prison visit initiative was part of the redemptive, reformative and restorative objectives of the Foundation.
She donated five hundred pairs of bathroom slippers, bars of soap, as well as Bibles and a lap top computer with its accessories to the inmates and prison officials.
In his remarks, Mr. Odharo said the prison which was constructed for a little over 200 inmates had over 400 and requested for its decongestion, a borehole and electricity transformer.