By Udora Orizu in Abuja
The United Nations (UN) has invited the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) to attend her 67th Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organisation (DPI/NGO) conference scheduled for its headquarters in New York, United States.
The event is designed to provide a policy building forum for NGOs’ collaboration with the world body.
Addressing journalists in Abuja while leading a five-man delegation of PCN to the UN conference in New York, National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Amb. Dickson Akoh said time had come for the organiaation to make a statement on Nigeria’s democracy, using its numerical strength.
Akoh also charged members of the Corps to take advantage of the extension of the continuous voters registration (CVR) exercise and get registered, adding that any officer or volunteer of the Corps who fails to comply with the instruction would not be issued identity card during the 2019 membership revalidation.
PCN currently boasts 157,000 regular officers and about two million volunteers across the country.
“All Peace Corps officers in Nigeria, numbering over 157, 000 and our volunteers close to two million have been told that this is a time to make a statement on democracy and then I have ordered them to renew their identity cards next year; so they must have PVC.
“ Without PVC (permanent voters card) to vote, nobody would issue identity card to any of our members nationwide”, Akoh said.
He stated that had the Peace Corps Bill enjoyed the assent of President Muhammad Buhari, the Corps would have provided jobs for about three million Nigerian youths nationwide in the first phase.
He expressed optimism that the bill would be signed into law, adding that the President has the liberty constitutionally to recall the Bill after six months and assent to it.
He said, “we have been appealing, we would continue to appeal. We don’t blame the President for whatever action he might be taking but the agency that tends to criminalise, label the good and noble intention of the youths or citizens before the authority because we don’t have access to the government, are the same people that scrutinise documents and representation we always send,” he explained.