Rauf Aregbesola, Interior Minister, says he will not be resigning from office over the spike in increase of attacks on correctional centres nationwide.
Attacks on prison facilities recently increased with the latest occuring last month at Jos Correctional facility. At the time, Mr Aregbesola said a total of 3,906 inmates who escaped from different correctional facilities in the country were at large.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday the former Osun governor dismissed calls for his resignation in some quarters, assuring that the federal government will step up security around the correctional centres.
“Morally, the state owes itself the responsibility of safe custody that must not be violated,” the minister said. “So, on that account alone, we must appreciate the enormity of any successful attack on our custodial facility and I so do. But I want us to put these things in the context of our security situation.
“In Jos, our men died, meaning that the best we could put there was there and when your best could not suffice, it means that it is no longer a question of inability to make preparation or failure for preparedness, it is just that at that instance, we could not just hold the defence as expected.
“As to whether it calls for my resignation, I still don’t see any need for that because it’s not for lack of preparedness that the attacks were successful. No.
“What I can assure Nigerians is this: Yes, as contextual as these attacks and the successes such criminals are having, we are upping our game and we will not allow it. We will prevent any such opportunistic attack and even make it impossible. And that is what the state must do.
“We are working with all arms of government, particularly the security, to make our custodial facilities impregnable. We will not rest until that is achieved. That’s the assurance I want to give Nigerians,” he added.
The minister also said the FEC has approved the sum of N965.9 million for the purchase of 49 operational vehicles that will be sourced locally to complement the ones already in use by the service.
“The Nigerian Correctional Service, through the ministry of interior, presented a memo to council and obtained approval to spend the sum of N965,902,524.58 to procure 49 operational and Green Maria vehicles.
“These 49 vehicles will complement the 513 operational and Green Maria vehicles already purchased between 2016 and 2020.”