Western Provincial Premier David Gina on Wednesday conducted a historical visit to the Gizo Correctional Service of Solomon Islands (CSSI).
The main purposes of the visit was to personally meet with the inmates and encourage them to learn from their mistakes and become a change person after serving their term.
WP Premier thanked the Commandant Officer, all the Correctional Service Warders and all the hard working staff for the opportunity to visit the centre.
“I thank you most sincerely for seeing it fit to welcome me in your compound. I did not expect such protocol since my visit is not normal practice by Premiers in the Provinces in the past.
“However, I feel as a leader of this province by virtue of my role as Premier of Western Province, I am obligated to visit any government services in this Province,’’ he said.
He told the inmates he was humble and privileged for the opportunity to visit them.
“It has been my desire since taking up the office as Premier to meet different community groups and stakeholders.
“I am here to fulfill one of my government’s new policy directives and that it is inclusive participation of all stakeholders in the development of this province,” he said.
“Inclusive participation connotes the recognition of people with disability and those who are unfortunate due to circumstances created by socioeconomic situation and those of you who are here in this cell that are affected by the pressures of the society hence you ended up here,” he added.
WP Premier Gina added that part of the visitation was also to encourage the inmates to redirect their life and become useful and productive citizens after serving their term.
Joseph Teraka, Commandant Gizo Correctional Centre also thanked the Western Provincial Government for the unexpected visit.
He described the visit as a remarkable moment that took place for the first time.
Mr. Teraka also expressed the gratitude on behalf of the Correctional Service Of Solomon Islands for the unexpected visit.
He said CSSI plays an important role in rehabilitating and managing the inmates.
“Since taking up the post as a Commissioner there was never any Premier visiting the centre so this is for the first time for a Premier to visit the centre.
“The visit is important so that Provincial Government can see the role played by CSSI in Solomon Islands,” he added.
Premier Gina concluded the special visit with the presentation of small token gifts to the inmates.
Most of the inmates have acknowledged the gifts and thanked the Premier for the brief visit.
BY ULUTAH GINA