Students of the Special Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in the Maximum Security Correctional Centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have participated in the sporting events held between Friday, September 9 and Friday, September 23, 2022, at the facility.
The events, which began at about 11.00 a.m on the commencement date with an inter-cell football tournament, witnessed the director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, NOUN, Dr. Nnenna Nancy Chukwuma, taking the place-kick to signal the commencement of the tournament.
Chukwuma, who was led to the pitch by the deputy comptroller in charge of the facility, Mr. Bryan Etim, was escorted by some staff of her study centre and NOUN students, men and women, from the correctional centre, all adorned in the university’s customised advocacy T-shirts with caps, admonished the inmates to take advantage of the lofty initiatives introduced by Etim to make their stay at the facility worthwhile.
The centre director who reminded the inmates of the efforts of the present management of the correctional centre to ease stress and negative emotions of the inmates, opined that Etim’s empowering initiatives at the centre, such as the support given to NOUN student-inmates, the sporting events, the face-lift given to the centre and the general father/wards relationship introduced by the deputy comptroller were meant to keep them healthy and in sound mind as well as preparing them to leave the facility better people than when they came.
She observed that the wholesome care given to them by the management was conspicuously evident in them as most of them looked better than many people walking free outside the facility, adding that those of them who still had yet to take advantage of the free tertiary education graciously granted them by the management of NOUN should do so to enable them fit into the larger society as useful citizens of the nation after their time in the facility.
Etim, who extolled the virtues of Chukwuma and what she is doing at both the Port Harcourt Study Centre and the Special Study Centre in the correctional centre, said that he invited the director to take the place-kick for the commencement of the event because of how important the presence of NOUN in the correctional centre is to him, adding that he was targeting at least 150 enrolment in the university within the correctional centre in the next one year.
In a chat with NOUN News, the deputy comptroller revealed that the sporting fiesta was a novel initiative he just mulled up to assuage stress and arrest emotional trauma that the inmates may be going through.
The football tournament, tagged Comptroller’s Cup in honour of the Rivers State Comptroller of Corrections, was the curtain raiser for the three weeks event, which was followed by a Table Tennis Tournament on the second week, after which Carnival Extravaganza, an exhibition of the diverse cultures of the different ethnic groups in the Nigerian nation, was showcased.#
The high point of the grand finale of the event on Friday September 23, 2022, was the final match of the soccer event between the two semi-finalists that emerged during the first week.
The place-kick of the final match was taken by the Comptroller of Corrections, Rivers State Command, Mr. Felix Lawrence, who also presented the trophies to the winners of the soccer and table tennis tournaments.
Dignitaries at the final event included the representative the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, the Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Rivers State on Sports and Youth Development, the Director, Port Harcourt Study Centre, NOUN, Dr. Nnenna Nancy Chukwuma, and the Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Maximum Security Correctional Services, Port Harcourt, Mr. Bryan Etim, who was the host, among others.