Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 1 March 2018 | 1,561 times
National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Ambassador (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, alleged that there is a grand conspiracy against the Nigerian youth by those who engineered the decision of President Muhammad Buhari to withhold assent from the Peace Corps Bill.
The Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill was overwhelmingly passed at the National Assembly and transmitted to the Presidency for assent on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.
President Buhari, however, on Tuesday, transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives a letter announcing that he was withholding his assent on the Bill, citing paucity of funds and duplication of duties.
Addressing journalists after a House of Representatives committee meeting on Tuesday, Akoh accused the nation’s security agencies of working against the Bill.
He said the same persons who “fought” the Peace Corps Bill prior to its passage also allegedly advised Buhari against assenting to the Bill.
Akoh said: “The same people that opposed the Bill with the same content during the National Assembly’s public hearing, allegedly took the matter before the President, telling him that instead of voting money for new establishment, they should use it to boost money for their own activities.
“They had said it is a duplication of their functions but we made an advertorial in some newspapers to show the differences in the functions.
“Whatever they have done has not brought the situation to an end. The National Assembly may still take it up.”
The Commandant insisted that the organisation is in the interest of the vast majority of the youth, adding: “From what I am seeing, there is a conspiracy against the youth.
“Let them (the youth) be jobless and be committing crimes and let these people have more money and jail them. I think that is the conspiracy.
“We have bills that have suffered similar fate and resistance and were later passed. So we have hope that one day, proper attention will be given to the Bill.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has insisted that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, should appear before it to give reasons why he disobeyed subsisting court orders to vacate the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria located in Jabi Abuja.
The House Committee on Public Petitions had penultimate Tuesday ordered that the office of Peace Corps be unsealed in line with the two recent judgements delivered by Federal High Court in Abuja to that effect.
At its sitting on Tuesday, the committee said that President Buhari’s rejection of the Bill is a different issue from the court orders asking the police to leave the Peace Corps headquarters.
The police has cordoned off the place since February 28, 2017, despite two court judgements and the committee’s directive for them to leave.
Hon. Nkem Uzoma-Abonta, Chairman of the Committee, said that following the change of venue for the Tuesday meeting, the committee will give the police “a benefit of doubt” and adjourn till March 6.
He said while the police should leave the Peace Corps headquarters, the IGP and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, should appear before it “and tell us why the court orders should not be obeyed.”
Uzoma-Abonta added that failure of the duo to appear before it will make the lawmakers explore other options available to them and ensure they appear as directed.
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