The Oyo State Chess Association is set to collaborate with the Nigeria Correctional Service towards the development and engagement of inmates with the game of Chess.

The Association led by its chairman Iredele Ogunbayo paid a visit to the State command yesterday May 13, 2022 to discuss how chess can impact the lives of inmates if they get involved in the game.

“We have been working hard to make sure Chess as a game is played at all levels and circumstances in the state. We have organized Chess amongst schools both primary and secondary, the Ibadan Chess League, and planning to have games among higher institutions in the state.

“We have continued to partner with chess clubs and other organizations to achieve these. So we are delighted that Oyo State Command of Nigerian Correctional Service reached out and is willing to collaborate with us”, Iredele said.

“Activities like this will help the inmates a lot especially in their critical thinking and help them stay focused. Chess is a game of the mind and it can help them lead better lives once the inmates are integrated back to the society.”

The Comptroller of the command, Ailewon Noel was elated at the development while looking forward to the collaboration that will ensure the inmates are well engaged and impacted positively.

“Here in Agodi Correctional Centre, we do some little sports because the space we have is limited but we do go out. We play football and have vocational training as well, he said.

“We appreciate this type of collaboration. It’s a step in the right direction because it will further make the inmate to be engaged. While inmates are engaged while in custody, it makes them to think less of imprisonment. It is only when you lock them up that they start to think about escaping but with sport engagement, they think less of it.

The Comptroller believes that such activities will relieve tension among inmates.

Oyo State Chess Chairman, Iredele Ogunbayo

“The inmates will key into this. This will go a long way in relieving tension in our correctional centre. Any correctional center that inmates are not engaged, there will be tension, apprehension and tendency for inmates to want to escape and we don’t pray for such to happen here.

Noel also thanked the Chess association for this innovation they are bringing on board.

“I also want to use this opportunity to say thank you to the Chess Association for your visit and we want to see more of it. Our responsibility as correctional centres is to look for people like you to come and assist inmates”, he concluded.