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Correctional Reforms: I Don’t Want To Leave As Minister Of Interior With Regrets – Tunji-Ojo, Meets UNODC Chief

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The Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has reiterated the need to partner with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in upgrading the status of the Correctional Service.

Dr. Tunji- Ojo made this call when the Country Representative, UNODC in Nigeria, Dr. Oliver Stolpe visited him in his office.

“It is important we implement the inmate audit project as soon as we can. Implementing the inmate audit is key towards actualizing our desire and plan for correctional service”. he said.

Dr. Tunji-Ojo, said he is poised to transform the Correctional Centres, to become correctional and reformative in nature and not destructive”, Ozoya Imohimi,Director Press and Public Relations, quoted the minister in a statement.

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“These people are vulnerable because they don’t have freedom of choice. Correctional centres take the freedom of movement but retain your dignity as a citizen and as a human being. So while we want to retain the dignity of people; while we are restricting their access in terms of movement and interactions; we must also make sure that we don’t condemn them. We must make sure they are reformed from correctional centres to correctional homes”.

He expressed gratitude to UNODC for their interventions, saying, “You are a worthy partner, you supported us in all our plans and endeavors towards making correctional service a better one. Thank you for the efforts you are making in terms of funding and of course your contribution technically.

“I do not want to leave as Minister of Interior with regrets in terms of correctional reforms; I want to leave, knowing that I did my best by giving life to the most vulnerable and that I did my best to ensure that the renewed hope agenda of Mr. President finds a suitable place in the correctional centres and correctional service in general”.

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Earlier, the UNODC Country Representative in Nigeria, Oliver Stolpe said he was in the Ministry to update the Minister on the ongoing projects and to get his ideas towards the success of the projects.

It should be noted that addressing overcrowding and poor prison conditions which threaten human rights is priority to UNODC.

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