BY CHRISTIANA NWAOGU, Abuja
The federal government has reaffirmed that prison reforms and decongestion will be pursued with greater vigour.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave this assurance while speaking at a ceremony in Kurmawa Central Prison Kano recently, where he granted pardon to 500 inmates upon the payment of fines by the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
President Buhari became emotional on citing the age bracket of most of the freed inmates lamented that some of them were too young and thus, charged prison authorities to make every effort to make better citizens of inmates.
He promised that against all odds, prisons reforms and decongestion would continue to receive prompt attention from his administration.
While stressing the need for prisoners to receive proper care, support and rehabilitation to make them better citizens after serving their prisons terms PMB said, “I am pleased with this visit and I have learnt a bit more about the conditions of the prisons and inmates.“
President Buhari who said, ‘‘I know that this building in front of us was built since 1910,” also acknowledged that rehabilitation of prisoners and training of inmates were very important to the nation and that his administration will continue to invest more on these.
He said, “I asked one of the inmates (released) how old he was and he told me he was only 19 years old. If we have people of 18 and 19 years in the prison, and there is no continuous training, then their lives will be completely destroyed. We will invest more in education and vocational training’’.
The 500 inmates granted pardon, were men and women, drawn from various prisons in Kano state, including Kurmawa prisons, which has 1,398 inmates contrary to the 750 original capacity of the prison.
Meanwhile, the Controller General, Nigeria Prison Service(NPS), Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed has disclosed that the service will in 2018 recruit 6,000 officers to further strengthen its staff strength.
The CG explained that the recruitment was sequel to the fact that the federal government had included in the 2018 budget, plans to recruit 6,000 officers and men to boost the capacity of the service in achieving its statutory mandates.