As the world celebrates ‘International Day for Youths’, the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Peace Corps.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018, withheld assent to the Bill, citing security issues and financial constraints as reasons.
But the Corps, which currently have membership of about 157,000 regular officers, 2 million volunteers and can proudly provide job for about 3 million Nigerian youths nationwide when established; believe that end has not come to the Bill yet.
The President is believed to have the capacity to recall the Bill after 6 months, for reconsideration and possible assent.
National Commandant of the Corps, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, in a statement on Sunday to mark the 2018 International Youth Day, said the day “provides an opportunity for the government and other stakeholders in youth development to review the challenges affecting the youths”.
Akoh lamented that, the Nigerian Youths have suffered neglect and denials of right to better living.
He added that, “youths of every nation are the trustees of posterity because he who owns the youth gains the future. When the potentials of young men and women are finally put to effective use, we will witness a turn around that is so good and glaring that nations will come learning from Nigeria.”
The PCN Boss, while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill into law, urged him to reconsider the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill for its youth capacity benefits.
“We have prayed, bled and sacrificed all, just to have His Excellency find out the truth about the Corps either from the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Bar Solomon Dalung or graciously inviting the leadership of the organisation.
“We long for the truth to be told about Peace Corps of Nigeria being the frontier for Peace, Training, Educating and carrying out reorientation of the Nigerian youth with a view to harnessing their leadership potentials,” the statement added.
Peace Corps of Nigeria which currently enjoys consultative status with the African Union, also have a desk at the United Nations headquarters, New York City, and always represent the country at the General Assembly and other memorable UN international functions, especially, on Peace building and youth development.
The Nigerian Peace Corps, upon establishment, shall be domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, under the supervision of the Honourable Minister, as it is neither a security agency nor paramilitary, but a youth based organisation.
The core mandates of Peace Corps is to develop, empower and provide gainful employment to the youths, in order to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community Services, Neighbourhood Watch, nation-building and other related matters.
The duties of officers are mainly at the educational institutions within the country, and to carry out other functions as provided for in the Bill.
International Youth Day (IYD) is observed annually every 12 August. It provides an opportunity for government and others to draw attention to youth issues worldwide.