Wednesday, December 1

Anambra Speaker, Obiano’s wife, others laud prison inmates’ creativity, ingenuity

By: Awesome Ekene

The Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor has applauded inmates of Custodial centre in Awka, for their creativity and ingenuity while undergoing reformation in the Centre.

Okafor stated this during exhibition of products of the inmates skill acquisition, in Awka Custodial Centre organised by Superintendent of the custodial centre DCC HE OKONKWO in collaboration with Rotary Club of Nigeria Awka GRA and Unique Development Foundation for Women & Gender Perspective and Social Development.

The exhibition with the theme “RE-ENTRY PROGRAMME 2021” was aimed at showcasing to the public the reformatory activities going on in the custodial centre and the need for them partner with NCoS for greater impact.

The products range from paints, shoes, slippers, hand fan, metal works, to wood carvings/ sculpture, sewn materials and Adire tie and dye materials, upholstery amongst others.

The Speaker who was taken round the exhibition arena by the Controller of Corrections Anambra State Command Pat Chukwuemeka, expressed delight at the level of correctional activities going on inside the centre.

Okafor who encouraged the inmates with the sum of N100,000 donation after picking some items of interest, was later presented with a specially customized card by the inmates as their token of appreciation.

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On her part, wife of the State Governor Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano expressed her delight on the uniqueness of the products being exhibited by the inmates.

Speaking through her representative, Mrs Amaka Ezike, Obiano was full of praises for the Nigerian Correctional Service over what she termed real humanitarian service.

She also commended its enormous service of reformation and attitude remoulding on the inmates which led to the production of the items on display.

“We will see how we can factor in the inmates in our numerous programmes as a way of continued partnership towards the improvement of what we witnessed here today,” she said.

Also speaking, representative from the Skills and acquisition department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment led by Mr Okaka Modestus, promised to extend certificates to four most outstanding inmates, which would enable them to be gainfully employed on discharge.

He promised continued partnership with NCoS as a way of encouraging inmates to embark on skills acquisition.

Sariki Hausa in the State, Aljaji Garba Haruna who was represented by the Special Assistant to the governor on Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Musa Bello, appreciated the reformatory job the NCoS was doing.

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“This is a veritable tool to reprogramme their minds away from crime and criminal tendencies, while equipping them psychologically and physically, to positively impact the society upon release and re entry,” he added.

The chairman, Anambra State Sports Commission, Hon. Tony Oli, represented by Mrs Faith Okwonna, expressed his astonishment at the football skills and team spirit exhibited by the inmates who climaxed their week long football league game during the occasion.

The novelty match saw Arsenal team defeating PSG team with a lone goal, through penalty shootout, after a keenly contested match, to emerge the overall winner of the competition.

The winner was later handed over the coveted gold trophy by the Speaker assisted by the Sports Chairman representative. The Speaker gave them #50000, while he gave #30000 and #20000 respectively to second and third place winners.

Earlier in his address, Controller of the command, CC Pat Chukwuemeka fsi, expressed gratitude to the Controller General Haliru Nababa mni, whose determination to take the Service to a higher pedestal by leveraging on its reformation and reintegration mandate, spurred the command to contribute her quota towards the achievement of this collective goal.

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He promised that the exercise would be replicated in all the custodial centres in the state in no distant time under his watch.

Recall that the signing into law of the NCoS Act 2019 brought about a paradigm shift from the hitherto emphasis on custody, to the correctional role of the Service, in line with correctional world best practices.
The exhibition witnessed today, of course is a product of the Controller General’s resolve towards the actualization of the correctional mandate of the Service.

Other dignitaries who graced the occasion include the Director State Services Anambra State, the Area Commander, Awka Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Communication Officer, Gender Perspective and Social Development Centre Awka, President Rotary Club Awka GRA, amongst others.

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