The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) Bill into law.
NYCN’s President, Mr Murtala Garba and NANS’ President, Mr Aruna Kadiri, made the plea while addressing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
Garba said that NPC was a youth-based organisation vital to tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria but had been consistently frustrated from contributing to national development.
He said that the core mandates of the corps were to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for the youths; facilitate peace, volunteerism, patriotism, community services neighbourhood watch and nation-building.
“It is pertinent to note that the Nigerian Peace Corps has been one of the voluntary youth organisations duly affiliated to NYCN and has been partnering with the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports and its Education counterpart since inception in 1998.
“Because of the important role it has been playing in the development of Nigerian youth and in the promotion of peace, the NPC was granted a special consultative status by both the United Nations and the African Union.
“An objective assessment and critical analysis of this all important Bill will clearly reveal that the functions being sought by the NPC is akin to that of the American Peace Corps, Canadian Peace Corps, Bangladesh National Cadet Corps, Peace Officers Commission in China among others.
“It is thus not a duplication of any existing government agency of body that when given a statutory backing will serve as a reservoir and feeder structure that will provide manpower for government establishments in times of emergencies,’’ he said.
He said that the functions of NPC did not overlap that of any security agency in Nigeria; rather it was to complement the efforts of the existing agencies by increasing their efficiency through preventive intelligence-gathering measures.
Garba said that in tandem with the electoral promise of youth empowerment, assenting to the Peace Corps Bill would be Buhari’s best gift to Nigerian youths and students.
He pledged total loyalty and patriotism from Nigerian youths and students.