* as AKSG donates land for relocation of Uyo correctional centre
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN poured encomiums of Governor Udom Emmanuel for his development strides and investment in ensuring peace and security of the state.
Mr. Salami, who was represented by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Dayo Apata SAN, during the retreat of the presidential committee on correctional services reform 2020, held at Ibom Hotel, Uyo, eulogized the governor’s efforts to transform the state into an irresistible business hub in the country.
According to him, “I am a lawyer but I come from the family of literary artists. On our way from the airport, a phrase struck me. The phrase is more of a rhetoric question “who would not want to come back to Akwa- Ibom?
“When you see the peace and tranquillity that pervades this land, who would not want to come back? When Akwa Ibom’s hospitality embraces your soul, who would not want to come back? When do you drive through the roads with no potholes, who would not want to come back? When you savour appetizing, tantalizing Ibom cuisines that nourishes your body and soul, who would not want to come back to Akwa Ibom?
“When you meet a perfect gentleman governor redefining democratic norms, who would not want to come back to Akwa Ibom? All we are saying is Akwa Ibom, thank you. We are coming back”.
The minister said the retreat was one in the series of activities to aid reform inmates in the correctional services and also improve the quality of the infrastructure at the centres, pointing out the retreat would accord stakeholders opportunity to brainstorm and fashion out recommendations that would aid in the policy framework and evolve adequate guidelines for the correctional service reforms.
In his remarks, Governor Udom Emmanuel commended the federal government for the initiative to change from the prison service to correctional services. This, he said, signals the reformation of the inmates and sued for a skills acquisition program to enable inmates to acquire skills that would enhance their speedy integration into the society as functional citizens and not jailbirds, who the society would see as liability and threat.
The governor also advocated for proper parenting and education as a panacea to a crime-free society and pledged state government’s readiness to partner federal government in the reform of inmates at the correctional centres as is obtained in other climes.
Also speaking, the chairman presidential committee on reforms and the Chief Judge of the federal capital territory high court, Justice Ishaq Bello, acknowledged contributions of the Akwa Ibom state government in the reform of the correctional services.
He called on all stakeholders and philanthropists to support the federal government reform program.
Recall that when Governor Emmanuel hosted the presidential committee on correctional service reform in the state executive council chamber, he stated that as part of measures to reform the correctional service in the country, the state government is willing to donate land for the relocation of the correctional service centre in Uyo.
He said “Uyo correctional centre is a problem because of the ravine, I’ve told several chief justices that have been there that this will need ecological fund because there’s a huge ravine system there.
“We need to look at either we take care of the ecological problem or we relocate Uyo correctional centre, in that case what I can do as a state governor will be to provide land free as our own contribution”.
He said Akwa Ibom state government supports decongestion of correctional centres and the review of cases of inmates awaiting trial especially those who were accused wrongly, adding that the state government will pay off the fines of N750,000 meant for 13 inmates who committed minor offences.