Governor Theodore Orji of Nigeria’s eastern state of Abia has pardoned eight prisoners in commemoration of the Christmas celebration.
Orji’s gesture was announced in a statement issued in Umuahia by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ugochukwu Emezue.
The beneficiaries included Ngozi Simon, Ngozi Esina, Okwuonu Eme, Lawrence Egbu and Sunday Amala who were serving various jail terms for murder.
The rest were Chidiebere Jacob and Pius Anizo who were convicted of manslaughter, and Chibuzo Azuonwe who was convicted of robbery.
In a Christmas message also made available to newsmen, Orji urged Christians in the state to ‘’continue to exhibit those virtues Jesus Christ symbolises’’.
He charged them ‘’to use this period to pray for the peace and unity of Nigeria’’ in view of the current security challenges in the country.
The statement quoted the governor as saying that ‘’prayers can change situations for good.
‘’The governor said he is optimistic that the country will soon become the envy of other nations.’’
The statement assured the people of adequate security of lives and property during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.