By Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Like As part of its community service, the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), also known as the Pyrates Confraternity, donated musical equipment to the Delta State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS).
The donation was made by the Asaba Chapter of NAS. Worth around N2 million, the equipment is intended to create or revive musical groups for the five detention centers of Warri, Sapele, Kwale, Agbor and Ogwashi-Uku in the state.
Featured items included the EQ unit; crossing unit; two sound prince pitch units; two 400-watt M-audio power amp units; and generator.
NAS Asaba Chapter President, Mr. Emeka Okolo, who led other members to present the items to the leadership of Delta State Command, NCS, said the gesture was part of the association’s community project, who gives back to society.
“The idea is to make sure the inmates have a skill and also use it as a source of income. Growing up, we used to have prison bands, the navy band, the Army Orchestra.
“So we want inmates to have something to do, keeping them busy while they serve their prison sentence,” he said.
Okolo advised inmates to be optimistic while in detention centers, saying they should see music and other job skills as opportunities to uplift themselves and reintegrate into society.
Upon receiving the items, NCS Comptroller in the State, Esezobor Ovie, thanked the donors for the gesture, adding that it would invigorate the command’s band unity.
“I remember, last year, when you came to ask what we needed in the command, I asked for music equipment. I thought it was child’s play, but today you delivered on that promise.
“On behalf of the Comptroller General of the NCS, I receive these articles. These would be used for command staff and detainees,” Ovie said.
Ovie said that before he took over as Comptroller in Delta State, the musical instruments in the five detention centers were nothing out of the ordinary, adding however that the inmates were extremely talented.
“In all the correctional centers, they already have instruments. If you visit one of them and they play music for you, you will be amazed. They have instruments but not that magnitude that you can flaunt when we have chances. We can use this one when we are invited to a show or a gathering,” he said.
According to him, “an evangelist came here uninvited and brought us part of this instrument, which was not complete,” adding that since then no one has donated to the Delta NCS until NAS gesture.
He explained that imprisonment was no longer punitive, noting that the NCS now provides both prison and non-penitentiary services to ensure the reform, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society.
Ovie said that with the instrument, a band would now be created for the command for entertainment and revenue generation purposes.
“There was no time we had a band before I got here to Delta. I arrived here on December 13, 2019. Music is the soul of life. They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The people who have excelled in this country today are musicians and comedians.
“In our prison centers we have talented musicians, including staff. So we can’t stay without music. We have people like Bob Marley, Peter, Tosh, Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade, Victor Uwaifo. Music is a professional course in recognized universities across Nigeria,” he said.
Like Oliver Twist, Ovie asked for more, saying there was so much missing from the NCS State Command.
“There are so many things we need at command. The music problem is solved. I command five detention centers in Warri, Ogwashi-Uku, Sapele, Agbor and Kwale. In all these centers we have people who are interested in education.
“In Warri, we were able to enroll 22 detainees in the GCE. Those who cannot benefit directly from education, we have vocational training in all our structures.
“We have workshops for carpentry, sewing, hairdressing, shoemaking. In Warri now, we want to establish a mini bakery. This is to ensure that the goals and vision of NCS are achieved.
“That is why we will continue to appeal to good-natured individuals, groups and businesses to come to our aid so that when the detainees are released they will be of service to society and never be tempted. to go back to crime,” he added.