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Former dreaded member of the popular Anineh’s robbery gang turn cleric, Bishop Kayode Williams has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Controller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS now Nigerian Correctional Service,NCS, Ja’afaru Ahmed.
Bishop Williams who is the Director General of the Prisons reform initiative lamented that the desired prisons reform will not be achieved in the service if the Controller General , continue to superintend over the affairs of correctional home adding that, he is only good at prisons business.
The cleric made this appeal in an interview with journalists after a prayer session organised to request for peace for the country from God.
Bishop Williams who lamented the horrific state of the prisons in the country noted that a new wine should not be poured into a rusted cup, hence requested the retirement or sack of the prison’s boss.
His words, “What I think we can do is to agree and set out for a good correctional service, for instance, the Controller of the prisons service should be shown the way out because he had served for 35 years, How can we now put a new wine inside an old and rusted cup or bottle ?.
“All those old ones in the service should be retired because they have nothing to offer,they know nothing about correction, all they know is about prisons and that is not what we need in Nigeria. Our prisons should be a place to bring the best out of an offender and not a place to make them uncomfortable and more hardened in their thinking.
“My advise is that the government should retire all the old ones in the service, they have never done anything about correctional service in their life for the past 35 years in service. Now, the DG is now asking for money to build more prisons, can you imagine ?.
“There are graduates who are prison officers but the old and archaic ones will not allow them do things rightly.
“I was given that mandate by the British government to come with five warders every six months for trainings in a correctional institution over there but they are not ready, all they want is the cash.
“When you talk of prison, prison is confinement where people are kept for custody and if you look at the crest of the prison service, you will see keys as their symbol – two keys which show that the main target of the prison officers is to open and lock a prisoner.
“When you talk about correctional service, you want to educate the people. You don’t just lock them, keep them there; you want to reform them, you want to change their ways of life , you sincerely want to believe that these people can become productive. Because it is no more prison now, but, it should not just end in changing of name alone “.
Speaking in the compliance level of the prisons management to the President’s pronouncement for a change of the Nigerian Prison Service, NPS, to the Nigerian Correctional Service,NCS the cleric said the service is yet to comply.
“Also, despite the fact that the President has pronounced that the name of the prison be changed, you will still see, Prisons on their vehicles among their other facilities, they are yet to change that name as instructed by the President and the change should be automatic since the pronouncements of the President, they ought to have wiped off the name ‘prisons’ from everything that has to do with them.
“Also, the training pattern of the prison officers too should change, as well as there uniform.
“For a more effective job in the Nigerian Correctional homes in the country, Bishop Williams however, appeal for an authority to effectively get the service working.
“But right now, what I am doing in the interim which is a thought I drew from one of the ex convict in one of the Scandinavia countries, who request that he should be made an adviser on prison matters to the President. If I can also be given an authority to make things right on correctional homes in this country, I will be glad and fulfilled.
“There are a lot of things I want to do on the prisons now correctional homes in this country before I eventually die and leave this earth.”