An escapee prisoner who identified himself as Osaro Oyidan has written a public letter to the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki pleading for forgiveness.
Osaro reportedly escaped from White House during the #EndSARS protest.
In a letter which went viral on social media Friday evening, he said that freedom was thrown at him and hence he cannot return to prison as ordered by the governor.
Governor Obaseki during an assessment tour of the Correctional Centres ordered the escapee inmates to return voluntarily or face the wrath of the law.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) disclosed that 1,993 inmates escaped from their facilities.
However, the controller of corrections, Edo State Command, Babayo Maisanda, revealed on Wednesday that 1,818 inmates were still at large, while 163 have been re-arrested and six have returned voluntarily.
Osaro in the letter said he was writing from Usman Hotel, Shagari Village, Sokoto, Sokoto State, where he hoped to travel from to Libya.
He said he got wind of the governor’s directive through the Radio.
The letter was titled: Open Letter of Apology: “Escaped Edo Prisoner Writes Governor Obaseki Apology Letter”
He said he came to terms with the news as the local radio made the announcement continuously.
He wrote “Mr. Governor, Domo. I just heard over the radio here in Sokoto, that you want all the escaped prisoners from White House and Oko Prison, Benin City, to return to prison within three days. I did not believe before, but as the local radio continuously announced it, I realized that it’s true”.
He said he landed in prison for stabbing a young man whom he refused to unearth the name.
He noted that his woes begun after he finished his primary school education at Moslem Primary School, Ogbe, but later became a driver.
“Sir, kindly permit me to introduce myself. I was born and raised in Benin. I attended Moslem Primary School, Ogbe, and later became a driver. In 2009, I was arrested for stabbing a guy, who was always oppressing me with fine cars, that his brothers was shipping in from Italy. I was charged to Court. Despite my lawyer’s efforts, I was sentenced to Life Imprisonment, five years ago.
“Since then, life has been bad. I always pray for death, as all I see around me is misery and deaths. So you can imagine my shock and joy, when my cellmate, Monday Akpihion, woke me up few days ago, and said people outside the prison dey paro for our matter, and they want us out.
“I didn’t believe at first, because I have given up hope of outside life. But when I saw men breaking through that 5 inches hollow block fence, that Nigeria contractors deceived Government was strong to keep us inside, humbled and pliant, I moved. I joined to escaped, amidst hail of bullets, that sounded like Christmas knockouts to me.
“I quickly threw down my blue prisoners uniform, and jubilantly joined the welcoming crowd on Airport Road. I was not too sure, if this was trap, so I ran towards Omoma Street, off Oko Central Road and stole a bed sheet, by the side of a quiet bungalow, with the owners too embarrassed to shout.
“I moved further down the road and seized some fairly used shirts and a jean trouser from a horrified Igbo trader by Gapiona Street. I then ran towards Ugbor Road, GRA, fully dressed in my new well packaged clothes. With no phone or money, and not too certain of the reception my evil stepmother will provide, I decided to head to Aduwawa.
“At the corner of Anglican Girls Grammar School, I saw a fashion shop, with a woman, seriously busy with a scissor and a tape stripped round her neck. I walked in and demanded money. As she attempted to argue, I made a fake attempt to pull out a gun. That was all I needed to convince her, and she handed me 29 thousand naira. A lot of money for a fugitive”, he narrated.
The runaway prisoner stated that he took off from Benin at about 9:00pm later that day in a long truck, carrying empty tomatoes baskets, heading up north, pointing out that all he wanted was a drive to Lokoja, where his elder sister married to an Igbira man lives, but was the driver, told him that his final bus stop was Kaduna, “See me see goodluck. I arrived Kaduna yesterday afternoon and I immediately entered a bus to Sokoto”, he revealed.
He said he was amazed when he heard of the announcement requesting that he returns back to the prison.
“Mr. Governor, you can imagine my shock, hearing you direct that people like me should return to Benin and into prison. Who in my shoes does that? Borrow money to return to prison?
He noted that the governor should ask the escapees to report to the nearest prisons with assurances of pardon instead of the other way around.
Hear him: “Sir, you should have directed that the escaping prisons should turn themselves in to the nearest prison offices, with a prerogative of mercy and amnesty of reduction in prison terms, instead of asking that we return to the broken and burnt Benin prisons. Impossicant! For me, I’m leaving this night for Libya. Anything I see, I will accept”, he vowed.
Apologizing further, Oyidan, who seemed to be an admirer of the governor said: “I’m very sorry to disobey you, as somebody I love so well. I’m very sorry sir. Do not be angry. But I must head out to Europe and try open a new page in my miserable life, that was cut short by poor judgment and mismanagement of anger. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m certainly not coming to Benin soon.
“I hope that you will forgive my behavior. I didn’t ask for freedom. It was thrown at me. They freed me. So I moved”, Oyidan, added.