In the course of our interaction, many confirmed to me that they participated in the crimes they were accused of. When I advised them to change for the better when they leave jail, they said they had no regrets; they were not remorseful. In fact some said that if they get out of jail, they would continue with crime. I tried talking to the 23 inmates then in the Police headquarters’ CID cell; only one of them promised to change when he regains his freedom. When I persisted, the others told me that it was too late to advice them because it will not make them to change their minds.
They also said stressed that if I have the passion to see a new and transformed Nigeria that is violence and crime free, I should deal more with children, saying that crime is a circle. That they themselves took over from others, people who introduced them to crime while they were young.
They asked me to mirror into the society that all the crimes they have committed are done in other ways. For instance one of them who were brought to prison on a rape charge said people in high positions have continued to rape the nation’s economy and other aspects of the life of the country and its people.
It was as the inmates talked to me about children that I reflected back on my passion and that gave birth to an organization I founded called- Children and Young People Living for Peace.
So I concluded that my going to cell was never a setback but a stepping stone into doing well, into making a change. I am sure God allowed me go to cell so that I can get first hand information from the people involved in violence so as to do the work well. So when I came out from cell, I started dropping active involvement in advertising and public relations and became more focused on service above self. And I have no regret. I then met with other young people and share the passion with, and at which they bought they idea and became part of the team with many volunteers running the vision.
I began to search for deeper knowledge and best ways to defend my rights as vulnerable, and I went online. I was able to get materials to digest for insight and practical means of understanding where my rights starts and ends. Particularly, not to wait till rights are infringed but to act when they are about or threatened to be infringed. I also build synergies and networks with others in different countries for amplified voice. Thereafter, my story changed. I am not a lawyer only a barefoot- lawyer.
If we are to reduced violence tendencies and occurrence in Africa by vulnerable young people, then we must begin to instill and teach them the power of biros. Teach them that biros can give us better results than swords, guns and bombs. Frame narratives around it and see if this will not give us the needed peace we are searching for so long! I rest my case.