3 reasons why President refused to sign Peace Corps bill
Pulse lists three reasons why President Buhari refused to sign the Peace Corps bill.
The bill which was unanimously passedby both chambers of the National Assembly sought to give legal backing to the body which currently exist in Nigeria as a non-governmental organisation.
President Buhari refused to sign this bill into law.
His decision was conveyed in a letter to Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
lists three reasons why President Buhari refused to append his signature to the Peace Corps bill.
1. Paucity of funds
There is no doubt that the Nigerian economy has not been the way it used to.
Our mono-economic base – oil dependency – has not helped matters.
This is made worse by the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market.
The country recently exited recession. A situation, the Buhari administration daily (oh well…) blames on the corruption during the sixteen-year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Establishing any agency at this time would mean payment of salaries, provision of office spaces, and so on all by the federal government. These funds are not readily available. Hence Buhari’s decision to decline assent to the bill.
2. Duplication of duties
Opponents to the establishment of the Peace have said that youth organization if approved would only lead to duplication of duties already been carried out by existing security outfits like the Police and Civil Defense.
They have also argued that instead of establishing another security outfit, the federal government should fund the already existing bodies in order for them perform their duties more effectively.
3. Security concerns
A major concern of some Nigerians has been the military kind of training members of the Peace Corps are meant to undertake.
Senator Godswill Akpabioraised the issue when he described the organization as operating like the infamous Ponzi scheme, MMM.
"Honestly speaking my submission will be to support the earlier speakers, it is better for us to tread on the part of caution, when you talk about para-military organisation, we may be adding to insecurity in the nation vetting and other things have to be done before we start putting uniform on people and giving ranks,” Akpabio began.
“Some of them are field marshals and they have not gone to any war, many of them are lieutenant-generals, I have seen some saluting as brigadier-generals, I have seen them in public occasions where the youths use their clothes to clean the seats for the commandant-general.
“If an individual want to empower youths he can do that with through a foundation. He does not need a law from the national assembly. I would suggest that the appropriate thing to do is to step it down. Controversies are too many. Remember when we started with the civil defence, they were not meant to carry arms but many years later they started carrying arms.
“If you know the number of armed robbers and criminals they bring out of police college in Ikeja after discovering that and they are going there just to legitimise their trade by becoming policemen. Many of them have been sacked from training. So where we are now is that when we bring another corps with uniform, we are going to legitimise illegitimacy.
'It is also almost like our government to make a law on MMM where youths have been taken advantage of and people have lost money, millions of naira and then someone brings a law to legitimise MMM which we know is a fraud. This thing is 419. Any individual that wishes to know the truth, any individual that wishes to empower the youth can go ahead through a foundation. We cannot make a law for an individual to collect millions of naira. We cannot afford to pass this bill now. I'm sure at the appropriate time we can still discuss it," the lawmaker added
Buhari’s decision shows conspiracy against Nigerian youths
But the national commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh has described President Buhari’s decision as a conspiracy against the youths.
Akoh who maintained that the organisation was seeking to empower the youths said it would explore other legal options to see to the passage of the bill.
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