Following nine inmates of the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Port Harcourt, who completed their study at the National Open University of Nigeria in various fields of study, Nigerians have been encouraged to embrace back to society the inmates who have been freed. As a result of their incarceration, the inmates who had graduated after having successfully completed their programmes during the 2022-2023 academic session were unable to participate in the convocation ceremony that took place on March 25, 2023, with their fellow students.
According to the Controller-General of Corrections Haliru Nababa, who delivered remarks following the event that took place at the correctional facility in Port Harcourt, the graduates have been transformed. Moses Brown, who is the Deputy Controller of Corrections, spoke on behalf of Nababa and said that they are making an appeal to all people of good conscience to accept these transformed citizens. Together, they have the ability to uphold this worthy goal and keep the national flag flying high among the community of nations.
They hope to establish a favourable environment for inmates’ reformation.
Now that they’ve made it this far, he wants them to keep striving to become good citizens. This success will only be the beginning of even greater things if they keep it up. Nababa said that the relationship between the Service and NOUN was a big reason why the inmates were able to change their lifestyles and that the Service will continue to foster an atmosphere that is helpful in this regard. He remarked that the Service was pleased to have reached this important milestone in its statutory duty to improve the lives of individuals under its protection.
Moreover, the successful collaboration between NOUN and the NCoS is one of the best things that has ever happened to the Nigerian Correctional Service and Nigeria overall. They, on their end, will not waver in their dedication to establishing a setting that is favourable to the appropriate reformation of inmates, which, of course, includes providing them with unhindered access to educational opportunities of a high standard. It is a statutory obligation, and they shall continue to carry it out with the enthusiasm and zeal it calls for.
Education is a powerful tool for social transformation.
In his remarks, as he handed out certificates to the graduates, NOUN Vice Chancellor Professor Olufemi Peters urged the other inmates currently enrolled in the institution to remain focused on their studies. Represented by the Director of Port Harcourt Study Centre, he said that these nine individuals have genuinely differentiated themselves, demonstrated that they are capable, and now, they are being recognised. They should not let anyone bring them down but instead, keep working hard to realise their dreams.
Effiong Etim, the Port Harcourt deputy controller of corrections, said that others who are ready to register in the education programme will be supported by the Service and that the goal of the programme is to reform the inmates. It’s not enough to simply complete their education; they must also display the knowledge they’ve gained. They need to have strong morals. They believe that education is a powerful tool for social change, and so they are actively enrolling others for the programme. Religion and recreation are important, but education is more so since it prevents deformity.
The inmates commend the institution and government for the initiative.
Lastly, Magnus Suanu speaking on behalf of the other inmates who are graduating, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Correctional Service and NOUN for providing them with the opportunity to participate in the programme while they were incarcerated. He added that they are also appreciative to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for launching the initiative and are also grateful to subsequent presidents who kept the initiative alive throughout their administrations and the NCoS seeing to its maintenance.