By Sanusi Lateef
A total of 14 inmates in the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Ibara and Borstal Institute Adigbe, Abeokuta, Ogun were matriculated into the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to study various courses, last Thursday.
Spokesman of the Ogun State command of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Victor Oyeleke said the courses they were admitted for include, Public Administration, Political Science, Human Kinetics, Peace and Conflict Resolution , Film Production, Information Technology, Mass Communication and Philosophy.
The Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Olufemi Peters in his address during the matriculation ceremony, urged the inmates to take the life changing opportunities that NCoS and NOUN have brought to them very serious.
The Vice Chancellor who was represented by Dr. Segun Adenuga, the Director Abeokuta Study Center, assured the inmates of NOUN’s commitment to making their study seamless and peaceful.
He urged them to have thirst for knowledge and be a generation that will join hands with others in diaspora to forge a better future for Nigeria after their release.
He expressed the gratitude of NOUN to NCoS for its support.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Controller General of Corrections Haliru Nababa, who was represented by the Controller of Corrections, Ogun State Command Abdurasheed Alimi, implored the matriculating students and other inmates to embrace opportunity offered to them by NOUN to add value to their lives
He added that the occasion underscores the core mandate of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) which is to reform and rehabilitate those in its care and subsequently reintegrate them back to the society.
He noted that this will reduce recividism rates, improve and increase employment opportunities for those who take the program serious.
Haliru said over 3,000 inmates are currently undergoing various profound and life changing programmes with NOUN and other Higher institutions that are in partnership with the Service.
Appreciating the effort of development partners in the worthy course, the Controller General used the opportunity to call on members of the public to look beyond the old broken life of offenders and consider assisting them to settle peacefully in the society as this is the only way to break the circle of reoffending.
The Corrections boss assures of his irrevocable commitment to the safety and comprehensive reformation of the offenders in his care.
This is the forth matriculation at the Custodial Center, under the auspices of NOUN.
The combined ceremony was witnessed by the Director of Mass Literary, Alhaji Mikail Lawal who represented the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu, Principal Borstal Institute, Adigbe Abeokuta, Controller of Corrections, Victoria Fatodun, Officer in charge of Old Abeokuta Custodial Center Ibara, Abeokuta and Deputy Controller of Corrections Bamidele Oshin among others.
The total number of inmates of Ibara Custodial Center studying various degree programmes is now 76 including four Masters Degree Students while that of Borstal institute is Six.