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Gov. Dickson offers to pay WAEC, NECO fees for inmates

…Celebrate 52nd birthday with orphans

Austin Pade, Yenagoa

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has demonstrated his love for education by offering to bear the cost of enrolling 49 prison inmates for the next NECO  and WAEC examinations.

The governor made the promise when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Okaka Prisons, in Yenagoa, where he interacted with some inmates undergoing studies for the ordinary level examinations.

According to his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, Governor Dickson, accompanied by his wife, Dr. Rachael Dickson, had earlier visited and donated various items to the Gloryland Motherless Children’s Home at Opolo as part of activities marking his 52nd birthday.

At Okaka, the governor emphasised the importance of education in building a virile society, noting that Prisons are meant to play reformative role in the lives of its inmates and not a breeding ground of more hardened criminals.

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He expressed appreciation to the state Comptroller of Prison, Mr. Shiabua Uche and staff for their show of professionalism and alertness in the discharge of their duties.

Governor Dickson, who assured the Prison authorities of the state government’s continued support, stressed the need for the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders to constantly improve on the delivery of justice.

His words, “The state government has been of immense support to this prison complex and we will continue to do even more. We supported the completion of this facility.

“Today, I have gone round and seen things for myself, and I have made assessments. We have a very clear area we need to do more. And as we get back, the Prison Services should expect more.

“I am very delighted at the enthusiasm and support displayed by the inmates. I want to assure them that they mean a lot to us even though they are spending time in prison.

“We will with you to ensure that their burden is made lighter as the law permits. There are a few things I will take up with the Department of Justice and Court System.”

While celebrating with the special children, Governor Dickson encouraged them not to despair in life as God has already blessed them with potentials for greatness.

The governor urged parents and other agents of socialisation to inculcate in children positive values that would enable them to take responsibility for their lives with a view to building a better society.

According to him, “If from my humble background and dint of hardworking and God’s grace and mercy, I rose to this level, nothing stops any of these children from becoming great personalities in life.

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“We pray that our children should be more successful than us, and that is how we can leave behind a greater Bayelsa.

“It is when every family, local government and state does that, that we can have a great nation.”

Earlier, Commissioner for Women and Children’s Affairs, Mrs. Martha Jenakumo, expressed gratitude to the Governor and his wife, Dr. Rachel Dickson for always identifying with the orphanage and other less privileged persons in society.

Mrs. Jenakumo particular thanked Governor Dickson for approving the formalisation of casual staff of the Gloryland Children’s Home to permanent employment last year and provision of scholarship to some of the inmates.