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ZODML donates library facilities to Kirikiri, Badagry prisons




In order to contribute to the reformation of inmates through educational and vocational programmes, a non-governmental organisation, Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries (ZODML), has donated library facilities at Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri, and Medium Security Prison, Badagry. While speaking at the commissioning ceremony recently, the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Ms. Ego Mbagwu, said the gesture was targeted at providing new possibilities for inmates to develop self and become better individuals when reintegrated into the society.

According to her, “Statistics had showed that in order to fully reintegrate former prison inmates into society, educational intervention is vital. Education helps to increase employability, reduce recidivism and ensure better quality of life. The facilities being donated today have a space for reading and personal development. They provide prison inmates studying for external exams and for Open University programmes with learning tools and resources, from textbooks to reference books. For those not studying, it has magazines and non-academic books to keep their minds active”.

ZODML was established in 1999 with a vision of a Nigeria where everyone has the ability to educate themselves and it aims to achieve this by providing free channels through which Nigerians can access information and learning tools to acquire knowledge.

Mbagwu said the organisation opened its first Prison Library at Ikoyi Correctional Centre in March 2013, adding, “greatly encouraged by the impact it immediately had on its inmates, we went on to establish the three libraries we are commissioning today and our hope is that they will provide access to positive and constructive activities and support the inmates through their rehabilitation and on the road to a better future”.

She, therefore, called for a comprehensive reform of prisons that would, among others, reduce congestion, improve facilities and increase activities for skills acquisition and education. She noted, “These reforms are necessary because most prisoners will not stay in prison forever and will rejoin society one day. When they do it is important that they understand that society wants to give them a second chance and it is only a reformed prison system that can give that assurance”.

While commending the organisation for its gesture, Controller-General of Prisons, Dr. Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu, stressed the importance of library in the overall development of an individual. Ekpendu, who was represented by the Deputy Controller-General, Emmanuel Ogundele, added, “With regular use of the facility, inmates and staff will be able to broaden their knowledge as knowledge gained through self-discovery tends to endure longer.

“I, therefore, implore you officers, men and inmates of the affected prisons to make maximum use of these libraries since there is no limit to education.

“One of the functions of the Nigerian Prisons Service is to reform the inmates in our custody. This we do by engaging them in educational and vocational programmes. It is on record that inmates, through the various programmes of the service, have availed themselves of this great opportunity to develop.”

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