As part of Government effort to ensure that inmates acquired skills that can make them useful members of the Society, First batch of learner’s total number of Twenty eight (28 ) Inmates of the Nigeria Correctional Centre in Ibara, Abeokuta successfully completed training in ICT programme and were graduated in a brief ceremony at the Centre on Thursday.
Speaking at the Graduation Ceremony, The Ogun State Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service, Mr Victor Benson congratulated the graduands urging them to use their new skill to enhance their living once they were released after serving their term.
Mr Benson lauded an Ogun State-based NGO – Prison Rehabilitation and Law-abiding Organisation International ( PRALARG Int’l) – over the successful training of inmates on Desktop Publishing and called on other organisations to assist the graduands by donating laptops and desktop for their use.
The state controller who was ably represented by the Deputy-in-Charge, Mr Godwin Onokhowomomo, said the Service “appreciated the brilliant initiative of PRALARG INT’L, under the able leadership of the State Coordinator, Comrade Yemisi Brown, to seek collaboration with the National Correctional Centre, Ibara, by which the training was successfully carried out.
He thanked the organization CEO, Comrade Akinwunmi Olayemi, who is U.S based, for “investing in the life of the inmates, added that “with the knowledge instilled in them, they are going to be a changing agent in the society” by the time they finish serving their individual terms.
The Welfare Officer of the Centre, Mr Awesu Abdulhakeem expressed joy over the completion of the “first batch” of the “Desktop Publishing Training”, added that history will never forget the roles of PRALARG INT’L in Correctional Service Centers over the years. He urged members of the public to take after PRALARG INT’L in assisting the government in reforming the “deviants” as well as “accepting them back into the society”, as they would have been purified through varied transformational programs” obtainable at all NCS centres across the country, so that “efforts and resources employed would not be in vain”.
Awesu seized the occasion to beseech all public and corporate organizations including individuals to take part in the correctional exercise by offering items needed for educating the inmates; desktop computers, laptops etc.
Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of PRALARG, Comrade Olusuyi Alonge, commended the graduands for exercising patience which made it possible for each of them to grasp maximally the intended knowledge expected of anyone who may practice as professional Desktop Publisher.
Overwhelmingly, he said, “we initiated it, and it’s happening now”. Alonge furthered that PRALARG INT’L will not relent in maintaining stronger synergy with Correctional Centres toward impacting positively on lives.
The instructor, Mr Chukwuemeka Ajuka, while responding to questions moment after the presentation of certificates to the 28 graduands revealed that he was able to offer the needed training as he had resolved to use his “knowledge of ICT in transforming our society”.
In the same vein, the PRALARG INT’L legal adviser, Barrister Adeyemi Apena, said, she was able to fit into the vision of the NGO because it has been her “determination”, while in the university, to use her legal knowledge and experience to “help those whose rights have been trampled upon”.
One of the high points of PRALARG, according to Apena, was the release of a suspect who had spent seven years in the Correctional Centre without being tried in the court of law.
Responding, one of the graduates, Mr Mosuru Ademola, not his real name, a first and second-degree holder from UNILAG and FUNNAB respectively said, despite his working records across various sectors before his conviction, he was a computer illiterate.
Ademola appreciated PRALARG INT’L when he said, the organization has “impacted knowledge into my life”, adding that “it is now that my Master’s degree is complete”. He equally thanked the instructor for being “able to manage” him despite his being a slow-learner.
“I can never forget you in my life”, Ademola promised his instructor.
Also, the governor of the National Open University of Nigeria, situated at the Ibara Correctional Service, Mr Kunle Okinmade, not his real name, while praising PRALARG and NCS for the beneficial synergy described the training as “a beacon of hope” for him and all other inmates.
Mrs Oluwakemi Abolade Bolade, not her real name, was grateful over the opportunity given to her through the “collaboration” between PRALARG and Nigeria Correctional Service in Ogun State, urging government and members of the public to assist in empowering other inmates who so desire to equip themselves toward building a better society.