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Ex-inmate bags certificate on Peace and Conflict Resolution from NOUN in Anambra


It was celebration galore at the Awka Correctional Center, Anambra State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service following the presentation of certificate of graduation to a former inmate, Livinus Ugwu by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

Ugwu, a graduate of Peace and Conflict Resolution with second class lower degree was discharged from the center in 2018 after serving a 21year jail term. 

The visibly excited 60-year old man attributed his exploits to commitment and dedication, appreciating both authorities of the Correctional Service and NOUN for the opportunity to advance his educational qualification.

He urged the inmates not to allow their present condition to constitute a barrier, but see it as stepping stone to their advancement in life.

He said, "The world gathered today because of a one time inmate like me. I learnt so many things while in prison, including tailoring and laundry because I brought myself low. 

"I thank officers of the Correctional Service and the open university for the opportunity. They were so passionate, they took us like their own children. I started from Warri before I was moved to Onitsha where I established adult education. 

"Don't allow the four corners to weigh you down. See here as stepping stone to greater heights."

Presenting the certificate on behalf of the university, Director, NOUN Awka  Study Centre, Prof. Scholastica Ezeribe said the programme was targeted at impacting lives, including providing education to the inmates.

"The programme is a clear demonstration of the importance the institution attached to inmates education. We believe in rehabilitation through education, no one is a write off. 

"That's why we give scholarship to inmates, even after being discharged, so as to equip them to be responsible citizens after leaving the prison walls," she said.

Earlier, Controller, Anambra State Command, Nigerian Correctional Service, Pat Chukwuemeka, said the scheme, which he said was his brain child, was initiated for the educational development and skill empowerment of inmates.

Appreciating the programme facilitators for their assistance to the graduate, the NCoS boss praised the graduate for achieving the feat despite being incarcerated, appealing to other inmates to emulate him to upgrade themselves.

NOUN desk officer, NCoS, Dr.Henry Nwokoye, urged the inmates to see their situation as blessing in disguise, as well as opportunity to uplift and add value to your lives.

The command PRO SC, Francis Ekezie while giving the vote of thanks emphasized that the Service will not relent in collaboration with the NOUN to positively impact the lives of the inmates through quality education.

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