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Delayed Assent To Peace Corps Bill: Council Of Commandants, Others Meet To Discuss Way Forward



As part of commitment to actualize its desired objectives, the Board Of Trustees, National Executive Council and Council of Commandants Of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), had met over the weekend in Abuja to discuss way forward on the matter.

Recalled that President Muhammed Buhari had on Tuesday, withheld his constitutional responsibility of assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps Establishment Bill, thereby transmitted same to the National Assembly.

In a swift reaction , the leadership of the Corps had clarified the misconceptions which led to the ugly trends.

The National Commandant, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh ,revealed to Journalists that, ‘the functions of the Nigerian Peace Corps as succinctly captured in the Bill do not in any way conflict with that of the function of any existing security agencies but is absolutely civil, which is to observe as an arbiter of peace, youth volunteerism, maintaining and sustaining a level of proactiveness and courier of information for impending nefarious activities and plots that can lead to the breakdown of peace and order anywhere in Nigeria’.

According to him,’ there was no security agency in Nigeria that was currently undertaking the functions ascribe to Peace Corps ….’ 

“the role of the Peace Corps is clearly distinct from that of conventional security and paramilitary organizations, hence its placement under the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youths Development. The powers conferred on the Nigerian Peace Corps in the Bill do not also involve arms bearing, investigation, detention and prosecution”. He said.

Considering its developmental and security objectives, Amb, Akoh, believed  if there is a time in the history of Nigeria that needed peace should be now…So, there is urgent need for consideration of the bill. But, ‘the President may have been lured into taking the harsh decision.

Recounting his experience that similar organizations like the Nigerian Peace Corps had existed in several other parts of the world: the American Peace Corps, Canadian Peace Corps, Bangladesh National Cadet Corps, Peace Officers Commission in China, Chinese Labour Corps, Lera Uniform Corps of Malaysia, Malaysian People Volunteer Corps, Production and Construction Corps of China ,and the likes.

He stressed further that, the Bill which had earlier received popular support by the masses with over 500 memoranda, including government agencies, traditional rulers, civil society organizations, student bodies and others; ought not to be jettison as a result of mere advice from a few security agencies who served as opponents to the establishment of the Peace Corps.

However, on the face of any odds,  the peace corps says that it had confidence on Mr. President’s leadership on the need to reevaluate the importance of the bill and subsequent assent to it.