From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has said that there is no such plan to mobilise inmates or any group of persons by the Service to vote in the Anambra State Governorship election or indeed, any election.
It added that the NCoS has no part to play in the process besides providing personnel in the joint security setup to secure polling boots and election materials, including law-abiding citizens before, during and after elections.
The NCoS explained that the exercise is usually and traditionally carried out outside the precinct of Custodial Centres, stressing that the immediate concern of the NCoS under the leadership of the Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, is safe custody, care and support for the inmates.
The NCoS who stated this yesterday through a press statement by Francis Enobore,
Public Relations Officer, was reacting to a publication in one of the national dailies credited to one Emma Powerful, the Director of Media and Publicity to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), alleging that inmates have been mobilised from several Correctional centres in the South East to vote in the said election, to compromise the credibility of the process.
Enobore said “this statement is puerile and has no iota of truth in its entirety. It is inane and probably would have been ignored but for the time of the release and diabolical intention.
“I deemed it necessary to respond and state that there is no such plan to mobilised inmates or any group of persons by the Service to vote in the election or indeed, any election.
“The publication is yet another ignoble act of the IPOB clandestinely designed to create disaffection and chaos among the people”.
According to him, “it is a known fact that the agency solely responsible for registration of eligible voters and arrangements for logistics to prosecute elections in Nigeria is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”.
He stressed that the immediate concern of the NCoS under the leadership of the Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, is safe custody, care and support for the inmates, a worthy course being steadily pursued through the development of programmes that are germane to effective reformation and rehabilitation of inmates to facilitate their seamless reintegration into the society.
Enobore advised the general public and indeed the good and peace-loving people of Anambra State to disregard the false alarm being propagated by IPOB and come out to exercise their franchise come as scheduled by the election umpire, INEC.
While acknowledging the unfettered support of the media in espousing the positive trajectory of the administration of Nababa in repositioning the NCoS for better service delivery, Enobore however appealed for caution in “propagating careless and unpatriotic statements of separatist groups without proper verification”, stressing that “this appeal is necessary in order to prevent unnecessary pandemonium, mistrust and avoidable tension in the country”.