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Minister pledges better prisons, tasks public, others on criminals


MINISTER of Interior Abba Moro has promised to continue to raise the bar in prison reforms to reposition all prison formations in the country to be rehabilitative and corrective centres rather than punitive.

The minister, who spoke during the commissioning of the new medium maximum security prison in Koton Karfe recently pointed out that the issues of security and criminal justice are paramount to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said, “The commissioning of modernized Koton Karfe Medium Prison has shown that President Jonathan is modernizing our prisons, building new structures to de-congest them and give them necessary infrastructural face-lift that will make the prison system discharge it’s mandate of correction, reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration.”

He said he has visited Koton-Karfe Prison more than any other prison formation in this country for obvious reason of notoriety adding that this latest is for the reason of jubilation and a sense of fulfillment.

He listed other prison formations like that in Akwa Ibom State that was commissioned by the Vice President Namadi Sambo. “In 2011, 2013, and 2014, I personally commissioned the Ado Ekiti Prison in Ekiti State Prison Command in Bayelsa State in Yenagoa and the Nnewi Prison in Anambra State. Today, it is with all sense of responsibility that I am here to commission this medium prison in Koton Karfe especially against the background of the frequent attacks on our old and decaying prison that has become a frequent target for armed bandits in our society.”

He went down memory lane to recall how the Federal Government took a bold step in the Second Republic to provide model prisons in 47 locations across the country.

Moro indicated that it was to be a major programme of intervention towards the decongestion of prisons as well as provide humane custody for our prison inmates but was truncated half way.

“Under that program an eighty bed medium security prison was started at Koton-Karfe just as in the other 46 locations across the country but all the projects were unfortunately abandoned in 1986 for lack of funds. Today, like I said for 26 years after all the travails I had to give a marching order that this prison must be commissioned today.”

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