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Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

Miffed by the recent attack on Kuje Prisons, the Federal Government has directed that only personnel trained in the use of sophisticated arms be deployed to man its prisons.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola gave the order on Wednesday in Kaduna at the passing out parade of newly commissioned officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service NCoS.

Media Aide to the minister, Sola Fasure in a statement said Aregbesola who was the reviewing officer, charged the officers to be firm and courageous in the discharge of their lawful duty.

“You are therefore required to be firm and courageous in carrying out your lawful duties. Our facilities are sacred and inviolable. They are a red zone and we shall defend them with the resources at our disposal. Let me remind you all that we are all stakeholders in the quest to restoring lasting peace in our country. Every hand must therefore be on deck.

“From now on, there should be capacity development such that there will be sufficient officers that can effectively bear and use sophisticated arms in the defence of our custodial centres. Flowing from this, only such officers should be deployed to man the facilities.

“The officers in all the custodial centres should be exemplary in character and conduct. They should shun any practice that will jeopardise the security of the custodial centres and by implication the Nigerian people,” the Minister charged the officers.

The minister also informed the officers to serve the nation to the best of their abilities and ensure inmates are returned to society as better persons.

“You have been called into leadership position in this system, to serve the nation in this great and wonderful enterprise of keeping offenders safe and sound in custody and ultimately making them better persons than they were before coming in.

“You must not fail nor falter in this assignment. There are many challenges and temptations that will require sacrifices and determination for you to progress and succeed in your career. You must serve with your whole heart and might,” the Minister stated.

Subsequently, the Minister paid a visit to the Kaduna Medium Security Custodial Centre, established in 1915, where he and the Controller General of the Service, Haliru Nababa, where conducted round the facility.

He charged the contingent of the Nigeria Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and armed guards of the correction service to ensure no one who attempts to bridge the facility lives to tell the story.

“Carry out periodic drills to show your readiness and preparedness to repel any type of attack. You have the authority and backing of Mr. President to defend this facility.

“The head of your agencies have been directed to ensure maximum compliance with this directive. Bring down the might of the federal government on any would-be attacker and ensure the facility is not breached,” the minister charged the officers.

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