Controversial blogger Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo has spent all of 16 days behind the high walls of Port Harcourt Prisons (Rivers state) following her arrest on March 14, 2017, in Ibadan (Oyo state) for alleging that Salvation Ministries’ David Ibiyiomie was dating Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo.
Donning a green prison uniform of a simple dress and slippers, and handcuffed, daughter of former governor of Oyo state (Dr. Omololu Olunloyo) was granted bail by Chief magistrate Alatuwo Elkanah Fubara on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
Looking dull and harassed, the bold 52 year old mother would have learnt unforgettable lessons in prison.
Here are some of the fundamental lessons you must learn from prison as compiled by encomium.ng:
- You can survive on very little material possessions.
There is nowhere to go (except make appearances in court), no party or meeting to attend, so you need very little clothes and accessories.
What’s more, there is no space for a wardrobe in cells. Most times, all your possessions are kept in a ‘nylon bag’.
- You have too much time on your hands.
And you can only sleep, mix with fellow prisoners, be busy in church or mosque, articipate in learning a few crafts, read and think.
Time moves so slow that you wonder whether you have more than 24 hours in a day.
- Corruption percolate everywhere, and even the down and out are cheated.
Your food is far less than how much government allocates. A lot of prison officials and bureaucrats have pocketed a chunk of the budget allocated and stolen food stuffs meant for prison canteens.
You can hardly get anything done without bribing. From receiving visitors to attending court sessions, and being allocated a manageable cell, you part with some money.
- You can actually count friends and family on your fingers, only a few people will stand by you.
As the days drag, footfalls of those who care about you dwindle. Not many will come visiting and attend to your needs. People are busy and have their own challenges.
- Justice is so slow and frustrating.
It is only when ones freedom is at stake that you realise how slow and frustrating our judicial system is.
The court officials won’t show up, prison warders are mischievous – and everyone in the system is in concert to punish you. And they don’t care that you are incarcerated.
- Hygiene is a big issue.
Keeping yourself neat and tidy and healthy is herculean. The prison is overstretched with inmates, and facilities are grossly inadequate. And shoddily maintained.
You can hardly get cleaner water.
- There’s nothing like being free and gainfully engaged.
You appreciate more the elements of freedom, and the fact that it is an asset to be gainfully engaged, go about your ‘work’ and earn a living.
- You can help people with very little.
Most awaiting prisoners and convicted inmates are largely abandoned. And they need very little to be human. As little as N100 goes a long way.
And some need medical and legal assistance.
You can help them just by listening and providing insights and a different perspective. And getting them appropriate help.
- Everything can wait.
You learn in prison that a lot of things we struggle to accomplish, tasks that must be done can actually wait.
We hurry too much, falling over ourselves to belong and be seen to stand up to be counted. In the end, do these things matter?
- Ultimately, we are alone. All by ourselves.
At the end of the day, you can always and only count on yourself.
There are wonderful, caring and selfless people. But they are few and far between.