Sen. Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP wants Nigerian political leaders to spend at least two days at Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS).
The former Benue State governor said this would make them understand the problems at the prisons.
Suswan spoke on Tuesday in his contribution to a motion on the need to upgrade, decongest and disinfect the prisons nationwide.
The motion was sponsored by Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP – Anambra).
Suswam recalled that his two days stay in the Kuje Prison gave him a lot of experience.
“I want to support this motion based on my experience and when I left, I recommended that for people to be proper leaders in this country, at least each and every one of us must spend one or two days in prison,” Suswam said.
NAN reports that Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, interjected and said: “Anyone who served as a governor, yes and deputy governor probably.”
But Suswam continued: “I went there, they took me there in the night. The following day in the morning, the entire prison knew I was there
“I sat down there from morning to evening because there were a lot of young people there and it might interest you to know that they spend years in prison, their demeanour, you can’t easily dismiss.
“There was a young man who has spent 10 years there for just a problem of N10,000. Various individuals were there on very minor offences that the police can afford to correct them and send them home.
“I made it a point of duty that when I left that place, for the next one month, I took close to 20 young people out of that place. It didn’t take anything, just pay the money and send them back to court.”
Sen. Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto East) lamented that the Correctional Service Centres in Nigeria were “colleges for hardened criminals”
“People become hardened criminals. Prisons are owned by government and the correctional centres should be owned by individuals,” Gobir said.
Sen. Rochas Okorocha (APC – Imo) corroborated his opinion by saying Nigeria prisons were the worst kind of man’s inhumanity to man.
The Senate, however, resolved that the federal government should encourage private participation in the development of Correctional Centres nationwide.
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