Welfare, rehabilitation of inmates our priority – Danbazau

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The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazau, has said that the appropriate welfare and rehabilitation of inmates in the country’s prisons was one of the top priority of the Federal Government.
The Minister made the remarks at the official flag off of the distribution of assorted drugs recently procured by the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) at the Ministry’s secretariat in Abuja.
“We want to thank God for making it possible for us to be here today to have the opportunity of carrying out this symbolic distribution of drugs to the inmates in our various prisons all over the country.
“It is very important to mention that without the support of President Muhammadu Buhari this wouldn’t have been possible because just as this sector is in need of funds, other sectors are also in dire need of funds too.
“So, the government has to prioritise. Fortunately, we have been given a priority and we must take advantage of this because the utilisation of funds is very important,” he said.
He noted that modern prison system was about the appropriate treatment and rehabilitation of the inmates, adding that the government had the responsibility of ensuring that the minimum standard for the treatment and rehabilitation of inmates was maintained.
“Inmates are human beings and we must treat them as such. The aim of putting them into the prison system is not just as punishment and deprivation of liberty but also to ensure that we change them into normal human beings. So that when they are re-introduced into the society they will become very responsible persons.
“And in doing so, we must treat them appropriately and ensure that we take care of their welfare, including their health and this why the distribution of these drugs is very important,” he said.
The minister also urged all officers entrusted with the responsibility of distributing the drugs to the various prison formations to ensure that the drugs were properly and adequately distributed to the inmates.
‘’I want to urge all of us who have the responsibility in various prisons to ensure that these drugs reach those who are suppose to be beneficiaries of them. It must be given to them promptly, as at when necessary. I want to also call on those who have the responsibility of storage, to ensure that they keep proper account of these drugs.”
“As we know, funds are very migre and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that these funds are made available.
For him, the Controller General of Prisons Ja’afaru Ahmed, while appreciating President Buhari as well as the minister for their support, adding that the NPS was bedevilled with a lot of problems.
“The NPS is faced with a lot of challenges, including the lack of motivation on the part of personnel and various other problems that have confronted us and one of them is also the prisoners that are put under our care.
“We have not been able to provide for them in terms of their basic needs like medicare, blankets, beddings and even feeding.
“I am happy to say that with the coming of this administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, and with you (Danbazau) at the helm of affair in the Ministry of Interior, things are now turning around in the prison service.
“We have been able to intervene in the various challenges that have confronted us and if you travel across the prisons in the country, you will find one project or the other being put in place.
“We have been able to change the environment of some prisons entirely and provide logistics. We have been able also to do promotions and provide other welfare services for officers and men of the service,” he said.
He noted that it was an important day in the history of the NPS, adding that the drugs would be appropriately distributed across the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT.
“Today is important for many reasons for the fact that for the first time in many years we have been able to purchase drugs for the inmates of the prison service.”


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