Ben Ayade

Ayade Calls For Prisons Reform, Donates Vehicles To Security Agencies

AyadeCross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has called for an overhaul of the Nigerian Prison System to position it as a government parastatal that drives reformation and productivity.

Governor Ayade made the call, Tuesday in Calabar, the state capital while hosting the state controller of the Nigerian Prison Service, NPS, Mr. Imaikop Ndaekong where he said the country should borrow a leaf from the prison system of the United States which he said drives productivity.

“There is an urgent need for the reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration process. Unfortunately these processes which are natural sociological pathway towards reformation now comes with the challenge of funding.
“In America, Prison service is the hottest business. Any remote part of America that they want development to move in, they set up a prison.”

Ayade who likened the American system to a hotel business continued: “As you send a prisoner to the prison, government pays his monthly bed rate, his hotel bill and his feeding and for his toiletries. So there is a fixed amount being paid by the US government to each prisons. Each prisoner has a fee.

“And so, everybody becomes desperate to set up a prison yard because it is on the basis of that prisoner that there is demand for food, demand for toiletries, productivity will go up, consumption will go up and employment will rise and so wherever there is unemployment in the US, any villageous setting that has unemployment, they introduce prison systems.”

Governor Ayade averred that the system afforded the inmates the opportunity to learn a trade and hoped that it will be replicated in Nigeria which according to him: “is our dream of what the prison should be. It should really be a reformation center; a place where people go for reformation and really get reintegrated properly.”

Ayade, who described the statistics of prisons inmates in the state as presented by Mr. Imaikopp as “scary and worrisome,” said the state will review all awaiting trial cases with a view to exercising the powers of prerogative of mercy on the innocent.

Earlier, Mr. Imaikopp who commended the state government’s support for the service said that there are six formations across the state which were operating above capacity.

“Calabar prisons as at this morning has up to 842 inmates as against capacity of 450 and covers 7 local government areas. The poor scenario is applicable to all the prisons in Cross River State where each of the prisons covers at least 2 to 3 local government areas a day,” Mr. Imaikopp said.

He sought the state’s support in the provision of ambulances, operational vehicles, inclusion in the state security council and tools to teach inmates basic skills to fulfill its mandate.

He also disclosed that a total of 854 out of 1,160 inmates opened out for Tuesday were on awaiting trial while 254 were convicted with 46 condemned.

Of this number, 32.7 percent were charged for murder, 27.7 percent for armed robbery, 8.9 percent for ordinary robbery, 5 percent for unlawful possession of firearms, 20.2 percent for ordinary stealing, 4.3 percent for assault and 1.2 percent for other offences Mr. Imaikopp said.

It was a busy day for the Governor who also received the Commander of the 305 Special Mobility Group of the Nigerian Air Force, Wing Commander Hussein Idris, the state commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Commander Alero Usman and the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC in the state, Corps Commander Chidiebere Nkwonta.

He charged them to effectively discharge their duties to the country and state.
He thereafter, announced the provision Of two utility vehicles to the NSCDC and FRSC.
The Governor called on the Air Force to increase its aerial surveillance in the state especially as the commencement as construction work of the signature projects of his administration commences.

“The construction of the Bakassi deep seaport and the evacuation corridor which is about 275 kilometers stretching from Bakassi to Gakem of Bekwarra local government of northern Cross River sharing a direct boundary with Benue state is an area that will come under our very critical purview.

“Our wish is that you must find a way, in collaboration with the state government to maintain a regular overflight over these two specific projects,” Ayade said, adding that with over 50 expatriates expected, the commander should “find means to ensure this your ATR 42 is based here in Calabar.”

Governor Ayade announced that the state will soon commence the total rehabilitation of roads across the state and charged the Federal Road Safety Corps to ensure that a near zero crash record was achieved between now and December 31.

“The crash statistics you have given if not suppressed looks very impressive. It is an indicant that truly you have come with true change because we have begun to see that the statistics are going down,” he said.

Ayade continued: “I want to challenge you, I don’t want to lose any Cross Riverian or any road user for that matter. While you have made your request, I will grant them to the extent that my good conscience permits that I also set a new target for you.

“Between now and Christmas, I don’t want to have more than 2 crashes in Cross River State and no life lost. No shed of blood occasioned by the massive rush for Christmas as this will be a great value you will be bringing because for the first time we are going to be having a Christmas where no family is in tears or sorrows.”

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Posted by on Oct 18 2017. Filed under Ben Ayade Desk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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