By Cletus Opukeme, Warri
Following inspection tour, Tuesday, of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) Warri, burnt by #EndSARS protesters, Delta State Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro lamented plight of inmates and increased burden on management, assuring the state government would provide relief/support.
“I’m an integral part of this Nigerian Correctional Service, Warri, for the past 14 years where we are involved Christ Embassy prison outreach ministry. That was long before I became Deputy Governor. Among other aids, I reconstructed this burnt Computer Centre and engaged trainers for yet other trades and skills here for the benefit/reformation of inmates. So you can imagine how I feel seeing this level of destruction. The extent of wreckage is disheartening, unimaginable and unthinkable, way beyond what we had seen in video footages before this visit”, Otuaro told newsmen in company of the Warri South Local Council boss, Dr Mike Tidi.
“It is obvious that an increased burden is now on the management of this federal facility in terms of fending for the inmates who have been cramped into little space left after the vandalism. You need quick intervention and we will provide that”, Otuaro assured, adding: “I implore you (management) to keep doing your best for the inmates and the country”.
“This destruction is most shocking. We should not encourage this kind of thing in society. We have a duty to protect these facilities and not destroy our collective heritage. We will surely provide relief to the situation”, Otuaro further said.
The Deputy Governor thanked the “soldiers and other security agents for the professional way they handled the protesters who reportedly came invading the this facility last last Thursday, October 22, 2020”, stressing: “While God hates sin, he however loves the sinner who should be aided to repentance”.
Deputy Comptroller of NCS, Warri, Okonkwo Adimobia, who conducted the Deputy Governor round the pile of destroyed buildings and other property said “no life was lost but a female staff was injured”.
“Of the 1,007 inmates, 26 escaped but the police have been informed and are on their trail”.
Warri South council boss, Dr Tidi, addressing the press also speaking in tandem with the Deputy Governor, said: “The wreckage is unimaginable”.
Asked how the Federal Government may avert this kind of tragedy in future, Tidi said: “There are no quick fixes. But there is need for a more participatory style of government powered by a needs assessment where the led are involved”.