The Federal Government has promised to henceforth deal decisively with prison officials who are found wanting in the diligent discharge of their duties.
Minister of Interior, Abba Morro gave the warning in Abuja on Wednesday at the formal inauguration of Dr. Peter Ekpendo and Engineer Anebi Joseph Garba as new Comptroller General of Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) and Federal Fire Service (FFS) respectively.
While charging the two to rise up to the internal security challenges that are making life unbearable for Nigerians particularly, at North-Eastern part of the country, he noted that recent incessant successful breaking of Prisons where hundreds of prisoners escaped was worrisome and an affront on the authorities.
He alleged that the incidences were found to be in collaboration with some senior men of the Prisons Service.
He announced that officers who were found culpable after investigations into the jail breaks including those engaged in other infractions, which compromised the mandate of the service have been sanctioned in accordance with laid down procedures.
“You are aware that where jail break occurs and escape has been recorded, internal conspirators involved have been sanctioned, therefore I will hold the new prisons chief accountable for anything that happens to our prison”, said Morro.
Addressing Ekpendo directly, Morro said it will no longer be business as usual, warning that any time there is case of jail break, officers that are in charge of the prisons and found guilty of compromising the mandate will be appropriately sanctioned.
The Minister charged the two newly inaugurated comptrollers general to shun anything that is contrary to the mandates of their establishments as Nigerians are looking up to them for safety and security of lives and property in the country.
To Garba, the new Comptroller General of the FFS, Morro said he was aware of the giant strides being taken by the department to bring modern fire alarm systems to existence in Nigeria and assured him of the willingness of the Federal Executive Council to approve the National Fire Safety Code for the first time in the history of the nation.
He charged Garba to strengthen collaboration with other emergency management outfits like National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in ensuring that the Federal Fire Service perform its responsibilities to the satisfaction of Nigerians.
Thanking President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister for deeming them fit to occupy their new positions, the newly decorated Chief of Prisons assured Nigerians that the confidence they reposed in them will be justified.