By Alex Enumah
A traditional ruler in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Etsu Kwali, Dr Shabban Audu, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) establishment bill when transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
Audu also enjoined the presidency not to decline assent to the bill as he did during the eight National Assembly.
Speaking at a lecture on “Nation Building and Security Challenges: Advancing an All Inclusive Security Architecture”, organised by the PCN to mark the end of year 2020, the traditional ruler claimed that the country needs the Peace Corps of Nigeria to enable it contribute solutions to security challenges.
He said that from his interactions the personnel of the corps are well trained and highly educated and will do well for the country in the intelligence gathering that will help other arms of the security agencies to combat and curtail the unpalatable security situation in the country.
The monarch who expressed happiness that President Buhari is aware of the enormity of the security crisis engulfing the nation, pleaded that Peace corps should be allowed to join the security architecture of the country to enable it contribute in the fight against terrorism, banditry and armed robbery.
“We as traditional rulers are aware that Peace Corps of Nigeria has commands in virtually all the 36 states and in virtually all the 774 local government areas of the country. We are praying President Buhari to fast track the inclusion of Peace Corps in the fight against insecurity and to as well give effect to the Peace Corps bill when transmitted to him by the current National Assembly”, Dr Audu said.
The National Commandant of the PCN, Ambassador Dickson Akoh, in a welcome address, raised the alarm over the growing insecurity ravaging the country.
Akoh said that Peace Corps of Nigeria is worried that the ugly trend has gotten to a point that students in their innocence have become subject of attack, adding that the recent kidnapping of secondary school students at Kankara in Katsina State is a sad reminder of how the security situation in the country has degenerated.
“We condemn in its entirety the kidnapping and the trauma the students were subjected to which has taken the nation some steps backward in our developmental drive and search for peaceful coexistence.
“As the security situation in Nigeria continue to escalate and in building a peaceful and secured nation which we so desire, we advocate for the support of all well meaning Nigerians especially the youths to join hands with the federal government and security agencies in the area of intelligence gathering.
“We call on the federal government to also come up with conscious and deliberate policies that would give room for a more inclusive, all participating multi stakeholders and multi lateral security approach, empowered and equipped to respond to the speed and complexity of the security challenge confronting the nation.
The commandant said that PCN represents a formidable, untapped organisational resource, adding that it provides opportunities for effective actions in the areas of developing its well trained and vibrant members as supporting agents of social order by providing a second line of public safety.
Akoh, thanked the National Assembly for the re-introduction of the Nigerian Peace Corps Establishment Bill, noting that the bill has since been committed to the Committee of the Whole for clause by clause consideration and subsequent passage by the House of Representatives.
He expressed hope that the bill would be speedily passed by the National Assembly in early 2021 and will be subsequently transmitted to President Buhari for his assent.