By Segun Awofadeji
The need for the National Assembly to come up with a budgetary allocation that will provide isolation centres in correctional centres across the coumtry to enable inmates access the required medical services, especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic has been stressed.
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, who made the request when the House of Representatives’ Committee on Reformatory Institutions visited him at the Council Chamber, Government House, Bauchi Wednesday also appealed to the Federal Government to consider extending its COVID-19 palliative to Correctional Services across the country to cater for the healthcare needs of inmates.
Governor Mohammed said at this period of COVID-19 pandemic, there was need for the National Assembly to come up with a budgetary allocation that will provide isolation centres in correctional centres to enable inmates access the required medical services.
He stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to tackle congestion in correctional centres across the country through a robust administrative framework on speedy dispensation of justice.
According to him, ‘I cherish this visit and I seize the opportunity to observe that, members of the correctional services are facing some challenges on how to admit those awaiting trial because of this COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Most of us at the state levels lack capacity to isolate those on trial or to provide them with required medical care. But we must support our correctional centres to tackle spreed of diseases for the betterment of our inmates.”
” I am happy with this committee for embarking on inspection of facilities in correctional services and for the welfare of those in the centres and therefore my administration is ready to support you.”
Governor Bala Mohammed emphasized the need for the upgrade of healthcare centres in correctional services with the provision of necessary medical facilities for the wellbeing of inmates.
The Governor therefore described their visit as timely and assured them of his administration’s support for smooth discharge of their assigned responsibilities.
On his part, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon.Tijjani Zanna Zakariyya said the committee was in Bauchi for an oversight function to custodial centers in the state.
He said the committee was mandated to inspect facilities at the correctional centres in the North East with a view to tackling the problem of overstretched facilities bedevilling the nation’s correctional centres for effective reformation of inmates.