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Nigerian High Commissioner donates to Prison

Nov 26, 2010, 11:47 AM

The Nigerian High Commissioner to The Gambia, Esther John Audu, Wednesday visited Mile 2 Central Prison, where she donated foodstuff to the inmates as part of Nigeria's 50th independence anniversary.

The items included 6 bags of sugar; 10 bags of rice; 6 gallons of 20 litre vegetable oil; 6 packets of toilet paper; 1 carton of NIDO Nestle milk; 2 bottles of disinfectant; 2 boxes of tea and assorted medicines; wool for knitting by female inmates; and some Nigerian newspapers for Nigerian inmates to know what is happening back home.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, High Commissioner Audu said the purpose of her visit was to see Nigerian inmates in the prison; to reassure them that they have not abandoned them; that the prison is meant to reform them and correct any mistakes they must have made for them to have been brought in there.

She said the visit was also meant to remind them that they have a parent who cares for them; to find out why they are in prison and then see what can be done for them so that they don’t make similar mistakes in the future; and also to thank the prison authorities for taking good care of them.

She also commended President Yahya Jammeh for his immense support to the prison service, especially for building an ultra-modern headquarters for the prison service.

Malamin Jarju the Director General of Prison thanked the Nigerian High Commissioner for the gifts.

Director General Jarju said among his priorities are food and good health for the inmates, and the setting up of a skills unit in the prisons so that inmates could fend for themselves, when they are released from jail.

Jarju asked for the assistance of the Nigerian High Commission in this regard.

He disclosed that currently four prison officers are undergoing a six-months training course in Nigeria sponsored by the Nigerian government.

This package, he added, started in 1992 when 10 Gambian warders were sent to Nigeria for training.

During her visit, High Commissioner Audu first met with Nigerian convicts at Mile 2 prison and then those in the remand wing.

She advised both groups to be of good behaviour, and stop making mistakes that would cost them their freedom and reputation.

She was accompanied by top officials of the Nigeria High Commission in Banjul including the consul. A representative of the Ministry of Interior was also present.