The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has charged the new Controller General of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Haliru Nababa, to ensure strict protection of all the nation’s custodial facilities to forestall future attacks on the facilities.
The Minister gave the charge in his office, Monday, in Abuja, while decorating the new Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, mni, saying he should work with other gallant officers of the Service to prevent future attacks on the nation’s Custodial Centres, as experienced in recent times.
“Interestingly, you are mounting the saddle at a time of unusual security challenges. These are manifested in insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West and parts of North Central, kidnappings in virtually all parts of the country, financial crimes and ritual killings in the South West, militancy that is assuming an insurrectional dimension in the South East and South South and sundry other criminal activities in all parts of the country,” he said.
“The implication of this is that the custodial facilities will be bursting at the seams with the influx of inmates awaiting trials or convicts serving terms and awaiting execution. This poses a special challenge due to the fact that some of these inmates belong to organisations that will deem themselves to be fighting an ethno-religious and political causes. Therefore, their members outside will be planning jail break into the facilities to free their members,” Aregbesola added.
He stressed the need for the new Controller General to build on the achievements of his predecessor by taking the Service to the Next Level as well as ensuring a reformed and world-class Custodial facilities across the country.
“Your predecessor left a big shoe for you to step into. Actually, no one steps into a higher office with his feet well fitted into the shoes. A higher office by definition means the shoes are bigger than your feet. You therefore have to grow your feet into the shoes, not compress the shoes into the size of your feet. It is in the steady and consistent growth of your feet that you match and surpass your predecessor and also leave a legacy and make name for yourself,” the Minister stated.
The Minister who noted that whatever may be the motive, custodial centres have been under consistent attacks in a brazen challenge to the authority of the Nigerian state, added that when inmates break free from custody, the security of lives and property is in jeopardy and bad things happen.
“This is the sociology of your emergence as the Controller General. It is a call to leadership, sacrifice, patriotism and selflessness,” he reiterated.
While further charging Nababa to keep in focus the core mandate of correction, Aregbesola stressed the need for inmates to be kept healthy and safe from harm and from harming others. He added that inmates must be reasonably fed and their health well taken care of.
“Their dignity should be well respected and they should be protected from abuse of any form – physical, sexual, verbal and psychological. They should leave the facilities on completion of their terms feeling well treated and their dignity as God’s creature restored. They should feel grateful for being handled by firm but kind and compassionate officers,” the Minister emphasised.
He congratulated Haliru Nababa and his family for the well-deserved appointment.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, told the new Controller General to see his appointment as a position of trust and giving the current security challenges confronting the nation at the moment, Belgore added, he should work in collaboration with other security agencies in the country to ensure that all the Correctional facilities are protected.
In his response, the new Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa promised his commitment to boosting the morale of officers and men of the Service as well as working to justify the confidence reposed in him by Mr. President.
“I will not take for granted, this singular opportunity to serve,” he said.
Blessing Lere- Adams
10th May, 2021