Time to get those “sumo wrestlers” in shape

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 22 January 2018, 12:00AM

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is absolutely correct. 

This country needs fit and able-bodied Prison guards who can chase after prisoners who run away from Tafa’igata Prison. And even some Police officers need to get in shape so they can do their jobs properly.

But it will be even better if the government builds a facility where prisoners will not be able to run away at will. 

While they’re at it, they should erect a decent fence where Prison Guards won’t have to worry about chasing after prisoners because the prisoners wont be able to jump the fence. Wouldn’t that be a great start?

That said; the story titled “P.M. wants fitter prison guards” published in The Weekend Observer was an interesting read nonetheless.

After years of prisoners wreaking havoc in this country every time they decide to run away at will, Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s government has finally woken up and realised that Prison guards need to be fitter. 

Wow. At last.

So how did they come to this ‘revolutionary’ discovery?

Well, Tuilaepa, as he does is a good storyteller. Listen to this one about the latest prisoner who took off from Tafa’igata last week.

 “There were four Correction officers present when the prisoner walked past them and escaped from jail,” he said, adding that the prisoner was apparently the cook.

That wasn’t all though. On another occasion, according to the Prime Minister, a Prison Guard was escorting prisoners back to jail when the unthinkable happened.

“They parked at prison and the inmate opened the door and took off running,” Tuilaepa said. “And the correction officer ran after the inmate but was unable to catch him because he looks like a sumo wrestler.” 

Now today, the Prime Minister has had enough. And he has come up with a couple of solutions to end all the problems up there.

For all the Prison Guards that look like sumo wrestlers, Tuilaepa wants them out.

“They should retire,” said Tuilaepa. “I am shocked at the Commissioner for hiring them. They should retire because it’s useless for them to work. 

“My advice to the Minister is to remove those Correction officers who are like sumo wrestlers because they are weak.”

And the second option?

“I   have advised the Commissioner to put the Correction officers through some exercise or physical activities,” Tuilaepa continued.

“They should be dropped off in Apia at 7a.m. and they should run all the way to Tafa’igata.”

Well that will be quite a sight, wouldn’t it?

But it’s a start nonetheless.

Aside from the humorous side to all this, the Prime Minister does have a point about the need for Prison and Police officers to be fit. It’s undeniable that many of them are not in a condition to do their work because they are so fat and unfit.

In Samoa today, they have no excuses. 

There are many gyms available offering them the opportunity to get their fitness level to a stage where they will be able to do their work properly. There are also many programmes like 1Touch Ministry and others who can help. 

Keep in mind that not all the Prison and Police officers are like “sumo wrestlers.” Some of them are quite active and fit and they should encourage their peers to follow their lead. The toughest part is getting started.

As for Prime Minister Tuilaepa, well he is looking forward to the new prison.

“The relocation of the prison from a residential area was something that had to be done to protect the public,” he said. “The area where the new prison is located is isolated and far away from the public and the new building is modernized and its structure is quite strong and firm.”

Folks, until we see it and actually have no more prisoners running out, don’t hold your breath. Have an enjoyable Tuesday Samoa, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 22 January 2018, 12:00AM

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