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Nigerian Prisons Boss orders Prisons Controllers to Improve Media Relations

The Controller General of Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) Ja’afaru Ahmed has directed State Command Officers of the Service to establish and sustain a mutual relationship with the media if they must succeed in their assignments.

CGP Ahmed gave the directive at the end of a two-day seminar jointly organized by the NPS and the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) for Command Officers in Abuja.

He said that henceforth the Command Controllers and their respective public relations officers would be responsible for information dissemination and crisis management in their catchment areas.

“With the training programmes organized for Controllers and Information officers on Public Relations, you are now responsible for information and crisis management in your areas and you would be held accountable for any untoward behaviour in your states,” he said.

While lamenting that only negative stories about the Service were being reported in the media, the Prison boss said the achievements of the organization were not making the news.

“Beyond working hard to meet the high demands of our core mandate which is primarily providing safe and humane custody, as well as behavioral change among offenders committed to our care, we also have a duty to actively engage the media as critical stakeholders in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities,” he noted.

 CGP Ahmed who stressed that the intricacies of managing narratives reaching the public were issues not to be handled loosely, expressed optimism that the officers would have improved their skills in managing media issues at the end of the seminar.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of CCC, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (Rtd) said it was pertinent to continue building the capacity of command officers to be able to effectively engage the media.

“This is important because every officer in the state command must understand the need to at all times, utilize the instrumentality of the media to up-build and uphold the good image of the service”.

“The Centre for Crisis Communication has trained over 170 personnel of the NPS including the Controllers and Public Relations Officers on various communication modules” he said.

 The Centre has also trained over 200 other officers in the military, security, intelligence and response agencies in 2016.

 Meanwhile,  the Prisons authorities have disclosed that no fewer than 41 inmates of Jos Prison benefited from the Plateau State Medical Women Association of Nigeria’s outreach programme, this week.

 The team led by Dr. H.A. Agbo was received by the Deputy Controller of Prison in-charge Jos Prison K. D. Mankale and the head of Jos Prison clinic, Chief Superintendent of Prisons M.G. Musa.

 A statement by Luka Ayedoo (ASPI), Commans PRO, Plateau State Command said, “The medical outreach which lasted for 7 hours saw the inmates undergo surgical operations on herniarrophy, lipoma, bullet and tooth extraction; visual screening and others.

 The officer in-charge Jos prison clinic CSP M.G. Musa, while responding to this kind gesture opined that the Plateau State Chapter of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, has been of immense help to the Prison community over time, especially in the provision of medical services of this kind and free drugs.

 CSP M.G. Musa further charged other well-meaning Nigerians, NGOs and Community Based Organizations to emulate these mind-blowing gestures in order to bring succour to the inmates.

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