By Sarauniya Usman,Abuja
The Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN), an Abuja based pro-democracy anti-corruption and justice sector Civil Society Organisation has called on the National Assembly to urgently pass the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) Bill, pending before the two legislative chambers.
President of GICN, Barr Edward Ejembi Omaga, who made the call in a statement, obtained by our reporter in Abuja, spoke against the backdrop of the current wave of insecurity in the country.
Omaga noted that the high level insecurity in the sub-regions of the country characterised by kidnappings, wanton destruction of property and killing of innocent citizens with reckless abandon.
He stated that upon its passage and subsequent assent by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Peace Corps would go a long way to complement the efforts of other existing security agencies for better results.
He said that all over the world, security is evolving as the society evolves, adding that with the alarming unemployment and the high rate of poverty in the land, which has also complicated the security situation in the country, something drastic must be done to arrest the situation.
The president of GICN said the core objective of the reintroduced bill which has passed first and second readings in the Senate is to “develop, empower and provide gainful employment for the youth, facilitate peace, volunteerism, community services, neighbourhood watch, nation-building and related matters.”
“You will agree with us that the Peace Corps is found in many countries around the world and recognised in view of the fundamental role it plays in societal harmony and peaceful co-existence.
“We find it very unfortunate and ridiculous that today, a government which declined assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) Bill passed by the National Assembly in 2018, citing basically, paucity of funds to run the proposed agency is spending millions of naira to compensate and negotiate with terrorists and bandits who have continued to maim innocent citizens without any iota of regard for the sanctity of life.
“At this point in time, GICN considers it very necessary to lend its voice to the calls by some Nigerians, other CSOs and NGOs for the quick passage of the all important Bill seeking to give a statutory backing to the Peace Corps of Nigeria which was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja in 2004 and internationally recognized by the United Nations,” said the GICN President.