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75 Ogun inmates bag Diploma in Theology

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Not less than 75 inmates of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Ibara Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Old Abeokuta, Ogun state, have bagged Diploma certificates in Theology haven completed a six-month training, geared towards reforming and rehabilitating them.

The programme, which was organised by Anti-Corruption Resource Centre (ARC) in conjunction with Right Thinkers Global Initiative had the combined efforts of other Ministers of God who repeatedly visited the yard to teach the graduating students.

At the graduation ceremony held within the premises of the custodial centre in Abeokuta, the National Director of the project, Dr Olamide Emmanuel, said the event was an effort to reform and rehabilitate criminated minds.

“We combined efforts with some men of God to work at the custodial centre here. We have about 75 of them who have distinguished themselves to serve God. Some of them have been released and they have started work outside. The programme is in three stages and it’s already a year today.

“We discovered that many leave this place destitute with nothing to fall back on. They are castigated outside, they are stigmatized. But, through the help of ministers of God, we built their psyche so that they will know this is not the end of life, better things are there for them outside”, he added

He however disclosed that the third stage of the programme would produce graduates with Bachelor’s degree in Theology, saying, “We have those who are qualified for that already.”

The Deputy Controller of Corrections, Oshin Bamidele, who is in charge of the Ibara Maximum Security Custodial Centre, opined that the duty of correctional officers is to reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate.

“As correctional officers, our mandate is to reform, rehabilitate and reintegrate back into the society. We achieve this through educational programmes and religious activities. These are 75 inmates who have gone through theological school known as seminary. We have seen very radical changes in them,” Bamidele said.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Officer of the centre, AbdulAkeem Awesu, said, “Today we are graduating 75 of our Christian inmates who have distinguished themselves in the school of seminary. This programme is under the religious education for the inmates. They will be awarded diploma.”

According to him, the training was not just to train ‘pastors’, but for moral modification, spiritual attention and protection.

“This goes beyond being a pastor. It has to do with moral modification, spiritual attention and protection, as well as inculcating discipline and the word of God into them. Being a pastor is a thing of choice, but they have undergone process of reformation and rehabilitation. My advice for them is to keep it up,” Awesu said.

In their separate remarks, a male and a female graduands (names withheld) explained that they have been reformed spiritually and physically by the training programme, while thanking the organisers.

In order not to end up in jail, the inmates advised youths to obey all rules and regulations set by government.

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