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Comptroller advocates Public-Private Partnership to enhance facilities in prisons

Priscilla Ofunre, Ado-Ekiti

In a bid to establish the needed reformation and sanity of inmates across the country, the Assistant Comptroller, Ado-Ekiti Correctional Centre, Ekiti State, Mr. Mathew Ajagono, has called for Public-Private Partnership to boost facilities for realisation.

Ajagono stated that the government alone can’t adequately provide the feeding, vocational and training facilities as well as carry out other reforms on the inmates without private organistions contributing their own quota.

Ajagono spoke in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday, when a nongovernmental organisation named  ‘Jesus is My Lord and Saviour’ ,  donated a generator, toiletries and feted over 490 inmates at Ado-Ekiti correctional centre.

The group, who had a vision to build a rehabilitation centre in the facility, at the occasion presented prizes to inmates with outstanding records as best singer, most well behaved ,most hardworking, among other qualities that can promote good conduct among inmates.

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The comptroller, who praised the NGO for the gesture said, “Government has been trying, but it can’t do everything. We are calling on private companies and individuals to help in providing facilities here that can give these inmates the needed skills that can revive their lives.

“Inmates are in Correctional Centres to get reformed ad not to become more hardened to commit more grievous crimes.

“We are all sinners, those in prisons are only victimised and it will be wrong to abandon them to their own fates”, he stated.

The NGO’s Executive Director, Mrs. Oyenike Daramola, said the gesture was part of the ways to propagate God’s directive that we should give to those who are in need.

Daramola, who revealed that she started the prisons evangelism work in 2005 at Kirikiri Maximum prisons in Lagos, backed the non- custodial sentencing in practice in some states’ judiciary, saying this would help in decongesting the courts.

“I started this work in 2005 visiting prisons and making donations. I strongly believe that these inmates can leave this place better and can still be useful to their nation. We must help them and make them happy.

“My organisation also performs post prison reform by empowering freed inmates. We have done this for over 10 ex-convicts who are now doing well. Many of them are even donating and funding this organisation.

“The post- prison rehabilitation is very strategic to Federal government’s reform agenda because many of these inmates were found going into crimes after being released due to lack of employment and stigmatisation.

“The best way to really checkmate all these militating factors is by ensuring that proper facilities are provided to give them vocations and skills while in prison, then empowerment can follow after they regained their freedom,” she said.