By: Tolulope Oluwole
Nigerian Correctional Centre, Ondo State Command and the Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Gender, Hon (Mrs) Olamide Falana are collaborating to make life more comfortable for female (prisons) inmates in the state, even as the Centre solicited the help of the State government towards ensuring a gender friendly correctional services.
The Controller of Nigerian Correctional Centres in charge of Ondo State command, Mr Jude Agboje made the call during a familiarization visit alongside his team to the office of the gender in the state.
According to him, there is a total number of 1,464 inmates (1,422 males and 42 females) in the correctional centers and there is a need for the office of the Gender to pay attention to the custodian centers in Ondo State.
Agboje said “the female custodian center is in need of assistance being a vulnerable group and that is why we have come to seek for help to see how they can come to collaborate with us to see how the center can move forward and to make sure that we are able to carry out all our constitutional responsibilities as assigned by the constitution and to make the inmates a better people at the end.
“The (female) Correctional center needs the Gender office’s assistance in terms of formal and informal training, we have a lot of workshops that are not functioning, we need their assistance to make it functional and also, to help us equip these inmates, so that when they are through with their sentence, they will become better people to the society.
“There are some of our inmates that actually did WEAC, NECO in the study custodian center and they have a lot of credits and are qualified to go higher. The custodian in Olokuta is now a center for National Open University, where they can have any degree. So, instead of making them redundant, we engage them in that direction of training them formally and those that cannot cope formally, we engage them in vocational trainings,” said Agboje.
In her reaction, the Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Gender, Hon (Mrs) Olamide Falana appreciated the team led by the C. C for the familiarization visit, describing it as worthy and timely.
Falana, however, revealed that advocating a gender friendly correctional services for the inmates is very important because even though they are in the correctional center, they have the right to certain facilities and services like healthcare, hygiene, better diet and things that will make their lives better while they are the custody.
Falana said, “when they leave the correctional center, they should be able to live a better life and be better citizens”.
“We hope to partner with the correctional center and see how we can also support for them, especially, the female inmates and ensure that gender issues in correctional center are taken care of or brought to the front burner in the society”.
Falana called on wellmeaning Nigerians and Ondo State indigenes wherever they are to see what they can do to make life better for the women who are in the correctional center for one reason or another, “who can tomorrow become a better citizen in the nation and who can eventually contribute their own quota and even become tax payers in the state at the later on.”