Prospects of 3,000 ca­pac­ity prison in Bauchi

Sunday Trust - - VIEW POINT - Abubakar Al­gwal­lary can be reached via aal­gwal­lary@gmail.com

There have been mixed re­ac­tions since the news broke that a 3,000 ca­pac­ity zonal prison worth N13 bil­lion is to be sited in Bauchi State. While some peo­ple in the state took to so­cial me­dia and other plat­forms to ven­ti­late their dis­plea­sure over the cap­i­tal in­ten­sive fed­eral gov­ern­ment project, de­scrib­ing it as a mis­placed pri­or­ity, many oth­ers saw it as a wel­come de­vel­op­ment for the state. Those in the sec­ond group saw the pro­posed prison as yet an­other op­por­tu­nity for the state to play host to the North-East zonal project which is one of the 3,000 ca­pac­ity pris­ons to be built across the six geopo­lit­i­cal zones of the coun­try. Al­ready, that of the North-West zone sit­u­ated in Kano, has been launched and con­struc­tion is on-go­ing. Bori in Rivers State would be host­ing the South- South zonal prison.

To many, and in­deed the Emir of Bauchi, Alh. Ril­wanu Suleiman Adamu, it is a dream come true as he has been con­sis­tent in his ap­peals to the gov­ern­ment for the re­lo­ca­tion of the Bauchi-cen­tral prison from its present lo­ca­tion in Bauchi me­trop­o­lis to a safer lo­ca­tion.

No­body is doubt­ing the strate­gic lo­ca­tion of Bauchi, be­ing the gate­way to the North-East zone. It is ar­guably the most suit­able city for the prison project be­cause of the rel­a­tive peace it en­joys.

In ad­di­tion, Bauchi serves as zonal head­quar­ters to many gov­ern­ment es­tab­lish­ments. All the para­mil­i­tary ser­vices have their zonal head­quar­ters in Bauchi, in­clud­ing the Zone ‘C’ head­quar­ters of the Nige­rian Pris­ons Ser­vice.

The ul­ti­mate goal of build­ing these pris­ons, as dis­closed by the Min­is­ter of In­te­rior, Lt.Gen.Ab­dur­rah­man Dam­bazau (rtd) dur­ing the ground break­ing event in Kano, is to have a prison sys­tem that en­cour­ages and sup­ports ref­or­ma­tion, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and rein­te­gra­tion of of­fend­ers. This means that with the es­tab­lish­ment of an ul­tra-mod­ern prison in the state, there would be re­mark­able im­prove­ment in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem in the state. When built, the mod­ern prison will come along with stan­dard work­ing fa­cil­i­ties such as school for in­mates, clinic, skills ac­qui­si­tion cen­tre among oth­ers. The teething prob­lem of con­ges­tion the now 500 ca­pac­ity Bauchi prison is fac­ing will be a thing of the past the mo­ment the new prison is com­pleted. That will as well pave way for proper and ef­fec­tive clas­si­fi­ca­tion of in­mates ac­cord­ing to their of­fences. In a nut­shell, it will be dawn of a new era whereby Bauchi would be placed on the global map of cities with mod­ern cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties.

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