Haliru Nababa, the Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), expressed his heartfelt appreciation towards the officers and members of the service for their remarkable efforts in upholding top-level security in custodial centres across the nation In the year 2023. Nigeria had been haunted by alarming occurrences of vicious jail attacks in previous years. However, in a remarkable turn of events, this trend was finally put to an end. Nababa credited this momentous achievement to the resolute commitment and unwavering devotion exhibited by the dedicated personnel of the Service.
During the end-of-the-year celebration and recognition event of the service that was held in Abuja, Nababa expressed his deep appreciation. He emphasised once again the unwavering dedication of the service towards safeguarding all custodial institutions and aiding in the restoration and rehabilitation of inmates nationwide. This year has shown itself to be historical in the service’s history, as they tirelessly commit themselves to achieving their overarching objective of maintaining impenetrable security in and around correctional facilities.
Diligent and hardworking personnel contribute to its effectiveness.
The fundamental goal is to guarantee the effective reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners, ensuring their successful reintegration into society. Their dedication lies in fostering a reliable and enduring system which aims to enhance both public safety and national security on a broader scale. Their workforce consists of officers and personnel whose significance cannot be overstated in achieving these objectives. Accordingly, he stated that their dedication lies in the advancement of their potential and the betterment of their well-being.
He stated that the purpose of the occasion was to express gratitude towards the diligent and hardworking individuals within the service for their efforts throughout 2023 while also preparing them for the upcoming year of 2024. He further added that the organisation would persist in commemorating and recognising personnel who exemplify excellence, industriousness, and commitment. In light of this, he encouraged the recipients to view this recognition as a profound responsibility to further dedicate themselves to fostering peace in all correctional facilities, as well as in Nigeria and the global community as a whole.
Several attacks have been witnessed over the years.
According to a report from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), a noteworthy incident occurred on July 5th involving the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram. Renowned for their efficient tactics, ISWAP successfully carried out an attack on Nigerian highly fortified prison in the capital city of Abuja. By overpowering the vigilant security personnel, the group managed to infiltrate the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, resulting in a significant escape of inmates. Moreover, 68 imprisoned members of Boko Haram were among the 879 detainees who escaped. Around half of them were later apprehended.
Doubts arise regarding the government’s competence in safeguarding its populace as recent events cast a shadow upon its ability to ensure security. Shortly after, the devastating attack occurred. Additionally, within the span of a week, assailants invaded a mine site, resulting in the tragic deaths of about 40 security personnel and the abduction of four Chinese nationals. Regrettably, months later, unidentified gunmen perpetrated a dreadful act, claiming the lives of 40 worshippers within a church in Ondo State.
More comprehensive measures counteract potential threats.
Following the series of notable incidents targeting custodial centres in the years 2021 and 2022, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, the former Minister of Interior, at the event made a guarantee that the government would take comprehensive measures to bolster the security of these facilities and effectively counteract any potential threats, whether originating from internal or external sources. Furthermore, he emphasised that the government planned to improve readiness by establishing military bases, police stations, and other fortified agency outposts in close proximity to all custodial centres.