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Jail breaks: Commandant calls for collaboration between NPS, state govts


OWERRI – Alhaji Hassan Shema, the Commandant, Prisons Armed Squad Training School in Owerri, has underscored the need for closer collaboration between the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) and state governments.
Shema said on Saturday in Owerri that such collaboration was required to tackle challenges such as prisons congestion and jail breaks, which are now militating against quality service by the NPS.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that one way the service leadership had tried to improve quality was in establishing the school so as reposition the organisation.
“This school, being the only such facility in the whole of West Africa, was established eight years ago with the mandate to adequately train prisons officials on the best practices in arms-handling.
“This facility was recently renovated by the NPS leadership. But, apart from the renovation, the school has a lot of constraints. It needs expansion.
“The road to the school from the Owerri/Onitsha Highway is bad, and there are other logistics problems,’’ the school commandant said.
Shema said there was therefore the need for the Imo government to look into the challenges faced by the school.
He however expressed regrets that no positive response had been received from the state government.
“Anytime we are organising the passing-out parade, we usually send invitations to the state government. But, regrettably, the state government has not honoured any of such invitations,’’ the school commandant said.
Shema said the school was very important, with 241 personnel passing out during the 2014 exercise, and more than 2,000 having been trained since the school was established.
He said the location of the school in Owerri should therefore be a pride to the people of the South-East and the Imo government.
“The Imo government often gives assistance to other security organisations. But it has turned the other way in our case. So, we are appealing that such unfair treatment should stop because of what this noble institution represents to Nigeria and Imo,’’ the commandant said.
Shema said it was imperative that state governments, as well as corporate bodies, must help in motivating officials saddled with the task of securing the prisons.
He said this would the country to overcome incidences of jail breaks.
“The armed squad personnel manning the prisons need additional arms and ammunitions, as well as motivation from all and sundry.
“The NPS is doing its best to recruit more armed squad personnel to beef up security nationwide, but there is the need for more collaboration,’’ Shema said.(NAN)

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