By Yahaya Isah, Abuja.
Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola has called on the personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) to be firm and courageous in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The minister gave the advice on Wednesday in Kaduna during the passing-out parade of some NCoS personnel.
He described the correctional facilities as “sacred and inviolable”, which must be protected at all costs.
“They are in a red zone, and we shall defend them with the resources at our disposal,” he added.
Aregbesola reminded the NCoS personnel that they were key stakeholders in the quest to restore lasting peace in the country.
“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,” he added.
Aregbesola directed the leadership of the NCoS to, henceforth, deploy only gallant officers to man correctional facilities across the country.
He also said that officers in all the custodial centres must show exemplary character and be effective and efficient in their duties.
The minister urged them to shun all acts capable of jeopardising the security of the custodial centres and putting Nigerians in harm’s way.
Aregbesola advised them to serve the nation to the best of their ability, while ensuring that inmates were returned to the society as better citizens.
To the graduating officers, the minister urged them to be diligent in their dealings, while ensuring that inmates placed in their care were safe and made better persons.
“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,” he added.
The minister also visited the Kaduna Medium Security Custodial Centre, in company of the Controller-General of the NCoS, Haliru Nababa.
Aregbesola later addressed a team of armed personnel protecting the facility, urging them to decimate anyone who attempted to breach the custodial centre.
“They should not live to tell the story. Ensure to carry out periodic drills to show your readiness and preparedness to repel any type of attack.
“You have the authority and backing of the President to defend this facility,” he added.