Amb.(Dr) Dickson Akoh is the national commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria. In this interview with DAVID ADUGE-ANI, he speaks on the Bill establishing the Peace Corps of Nigeria and other issues surrounding his organization.
Can you give us a background of the Peace Corps of Nigeria?
It all started when i was in the Nigerian Army Cadet Corps in Government College, Garki. Before then, I was in Boys Scout Movement, where I rose to become a troop leader. I later enrolled in Red Cross Society, where I rose to zonal leader in charge of Otukpo zone.
That was when I was in secondary school. I was the pioneer commandant of Nigerian Army Cadet in 1989. The school even sent me a letter recently reminding and commending me on the corps. It was based on my experience that I went into research on youth unemployment situation in the country and the security implications. It was all these that aided the formation of Nigeria Leadership and Marshal Corp in 1990. It was registered in March 1992.
The fact remains that Nigeria provided one of the most psychological environment where the youth can grow and attain their full potentials, both physical and psychological, but lacks the presence of a veritable platform for the youth to be trained, reoriented and achieve their goals and yearning in life, that was the motivating factor that made me form Peace Corps of Nigeria.
My own led Peace Corps is affiliated to Federal Minister of Youth Development since 2004. It also enjoys membership all Youth Organization in Nigeria which is the National Youth Council of Nigeria. United Nations Economic and Social Council gave us Special Consultative Status since 2012.
Last year, shortly after our 18th anniversary, which was popularly celebrated and attended by political office holders, the African Union brought a letter granting this organization special consultative status. No youth organization is enjoying this status.
Tell us about the Peace Corps Bill?
On the issue of the bill, our bill was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Umar Farouk. When National Peace and Unity Corp approached the House to protest, our bill had already passed second reading. It was first introduced in the 7th assembly, but the then the bill was frustrated.
In this 8th assembly, our bill was introduced last year. Reps said since our bill had passed second reading, they are not going to entertain anything similar. In the senate, our bill passed first reading six months after, but we didn’t know how our bill was removed when it was slated for second reading. Read More