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Jos Inmates Protest Plans to Slash Rice and Beans Rations Due to Economic Hardship

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Jos protest

Hundreds of inmates at the Jos Correctional Centre staged a protest on Friday against plans by facility authorities to cut back on their rice and beans consumption due to rising prices of goods.

According to reports, the officer responsible for meals had called the inmates together to discuss negotiations with the food supplier regarding the escalating prices of provisions in the market. The proposed solution involved reducing rice servings from four times a week to twice weekly.

This decision reportedly incited the inmates, leading to a violent protest during which they expressed their grievances on Friday.

Confirming the incident, Mr. Ibinule Raphael, Controller of Corrections for the Plateau State Command, attributed the protest to dissatisfaction with the contractor’s plan to decrease rice consumption.

He explained that while conveying the contractor’s message to the inmates, chaos erupted as the proposed reduction in rice servings was poorly received.

He said:

“So this morning, as usual, I went to the yard to see what was going on there. I saw an officer addressing the inmates, and when I asked what was going on, he told me he was briefing them on the outcome of his conversation with the contractor that is billed to supply them with food this month.

“He said the contractor stated that he would not be able to feed them rice four times a week again because of the high cost of things in the market and could only cope by reducing it to twice a week.

“The proposal for last year was that inmate feeding should increase, which has not taken off. So, when he called them this morning to explain things to them, they didn’t like it. So, when I was informed, I told him to tell them to get back to their rooms, and they refused to go back.”

According to Mr. Raphael, tear gas canisters and firing shots in the air had to be applied to disperse the vexed inmates when they refused to return to their cells.

He further disclosed that some of the personnel sustained minor injuries from the stones thrown at them, but none of the inmates were injured as the situation was brought under control.

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