Peace Corps Is Youth Development Body – Akoh

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

House of Reps Denies passage National Unity and Peace Corps Bill

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, February 10, 2017, Reps spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas said the National Assembly did not merge any organisation with the Nigerian Peace Corps.

“One thing I want to clarify is that in the House, we don’t have any Bill known as National Unity and Peace Corps Bill,” Reps spokesman said.

“I want to say that we don’t have anything as National Unity and Peace Corps or anything said to be harmonized. A bill passed in the House of Representatives or Senate alone can not be a law, so a conference committee (Senate and Reps) was put in place on the 8th of December, 2016. This Conference Committee identified about 12 clauses that differ and, they sat down to harmonize the clauses”, Namdas noted. Read More

Peace Corps: Putting the Record Straight

PEOPLES DAILY, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2017
By Rogers Edor Ochela

Prior to the passage and harmonization of the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) Bill by the National Assembly, which is currently awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent, the only entity known to Nigerians and the international community with the nomenclature of Peace Corps is the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) headed by Ambassador (Dr) Dickson A. O. Akoh. Ask any Nigerian on the street, and he/she will off-handedly tell you that it is that organization headed by Dr. Akoh. And they reasons for the organization’s ubiquitous visibility are not far-fetched. They include: functional offices in the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) headed by State Commandants; over one hundred and thirty five thousand regular members and Volunteers and landmark achievements etc.

Conversely, the organization known as the National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPC) headed by Dr Chinedu Nneji was an unknown entity, with hardly any visible presence in most states of the federation. So, in a nutshell, it is an inconsequential lot with its headquarters tucked somewhere at Area 1, Garki of the FCT. Flowing from the foregoing, it has not registered its presence in the minds of millions of youths that ought to have underpinned its corporate existence, unlike the Akoh-led PCN that has made its 18 years of existence felt in several areas that time and space will not permit me to recount here. Read More

Amb Akoh visits Armed Forces Radio

The National Commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Amb. (Dr) Dickson Akoh was a Guest at the Armed Forces Radio, an hour program where he extensively discussed the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill; the increasing wave of unemployment, Peace, Security and Sustainable Development.

A note from the Peace Corps of Nigeria to the General Public

…TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

You have carefully followed Readings of the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill from the Hallowed Chambers of the National Assembly; you have also celebrated with us on the timely passage of the Bill. Now you know Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) – the true PEACE CORPS in Nigeria (not National Unity and Peace Corps.) You also, can now clearly distinguish between the Recruitment Form of both organizations as the name and other distinctively features, show the difference.

With clarity on which organization stands authentic and waiting Presidential ascent, I implore you to carefully reach out to the various Peace Corps of Nigeria Command Offices (ONLY), to pick the PCN Recruitment Forms. DO NOT PURCHASE ON THE STREETS or a passive open market. The forms cost N1,500 ONLY. Do not pick it at a cost higher than N1,500 (amount boldly written at the base of the front right hand corner of every form). Any other charge is strictly at your discretion and not a legal representation of the PCN sales policy.

Should there be complaint of extortion, State Command or Headquarter location; scarcity or challenge of any other kind, in obtaining the form(s), reach me on these numbers: 08095939192, 08036239736, 08074789687 or send a whatsapp chat on the MTN line. Your complaints will meet needed guides from me. For effective weeding, it pays to nip at the bud so save us the resources to clamp down on Sales Agents with outrageous and extra-high charges. PLEASE, pick PCN Forms from our Command Offices and Help us maintain her integrity. We are one of Peace Men!

Universal Peace Federation awards Amb. (Dr) Dickson A O Akoh of Peace Corps of Nigeria

It was a glamorous showcase as the Universal Peace Federation of Nigeria in her Annual Assembly 2016 presented an award to the Nigerian Peace Corps through the National Commandant Amb. (Dr) Dickson A. O. Akoh FCITr, FCPA who was ably represented by his deputy Dr. Edet B. Ekpeyong (DNC Administration/FCT commandant) who equally received an award of AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE.

The event which took place at Owerri Hotel plaza, Imo state capital, opposite NUJ Secretariat, Port Harcourt road in which the Nigerian Peace Corps men and officers were seen gallantly dressed in their ceremonial outfit. The NPC officers and other security agencies were strategically positioned in the arena of the event in a bid to ensure that peace and tranquility is enjoyed by all. Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, the Secretary General, Universal Peace Federation (Nigeria) stated that the Universal Peace Federation of Nigeria is a peace advocate institution, affiliated to the United Nation assembly, aimed at promoting peace in the global nation. He further praised the Nigerian Peace Corps officers for their admirable and brilliant coordination of its services and urge President Muhammadu Buhari to assent the Nigerian Peace Corps bill which was recently passed by the Nigerian Senate.

Nigerian Senate passes Nigerian Peace Corps Bill

The Senate on Thursday passed the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill which seeks to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for youths.

The Bill, which was sponsored by Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC-Borno), was first read at plenary on March 10, 2016 and scaled second reading.

It seeks to facilitate peace volunteerism, community service, neighbourhood watch and nation building.

The bill will also facilitate the training of youths to advance the course of peace building and conflict transformation through peace education, mediation and conflict resolution among warring groups or communities where there are crisis in Nigeria.The passage of the Bill followed a report presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Sen. Bayero Nafada (APC-Gombe North) after clause by clause consideration.According to the report, the head of the corps will be referred to as Commandant General with six Deputy Commandants from the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The headquarters of the corps would be domiciled in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The functions of the corps include promoting social and economic development and empowering and preoccupying the Nigerian youths through job creation and provision of alternative employment.

In his contributions, Sen. Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) said that the Bill would create job opportunities and help in augmenting the efforts of security agencies.

Similarly, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger) said that in tackling security issues, there was the need to use multiple approach, hence the need for the bill.

“We need to allow more participation in the security space,’’ he said.

In his remark, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the passage of the Bill would go a long way to institutionalize the Peace Corps that had been functioning for a long time without the backing of the law.

He expressed the hope that with the passage of the Bill, it would contribute to the achievement of peace and stability in the country.

Briefing journalists after plenary, the Commander General of the Corps, Dr Chinedu Nneji, said that the passage of the Bill was the beginning of a new era that would help in ensuring total peace in the country.

He said “we will permeate and move into our various communities to ensure that we bring total peace to Nigeria. “We will also make sure that the issue of Boko haram, which the Nigerian military had reduced to the barest minimum, becomes a thing of the past.”

Nigerian Peace Corps Bill Awaits 3rd Reading In The Nigerian Senate

The Nigerian Peace Corps Bill sponsored by the Senate Leader, Distinguished Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume is awaiting third reading by the Nigerian Senate. It should be recalled that the Senate Committee on Interior under the Chairmanship of Distinguished Senator Usman Bayero Nafada recently conducted a Public Hearing on the Bill. The Committee received 287 memoranda from major Stakeholders, Civil Society Organizations and the General Public out of which 96% were in support of the passage of the Bill in the interest of Peace, Job Creation and Youth Development.

 

Peace Corps Unveils Anniversary Logo/Medal

As part of preparations for the forthcoming 18th Anniversary, the Peace Corps of Nigeria, (PCN) held a special ceremony to unveil the anniversary logo and medal. The event took place on the 16th of June 2016.

Keynote address was delivered by Dr. Garba Abari (Director General, National Orientation Agency), ably represented by Barr. Ogbedeagu KC.

The Senator representing Kogi West District, Dino Melaye, said at the event that the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) had performed to the admiration of the National Assembly, hence the need to support it.

Melaye, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, has assured him that the third reading of the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill in the Senate will be slated soonest.

Senator Melaye stressed, “The PCN has demonstrated service in her labour for Nigeria in the last 18 years. I acknowledge that you are a very responsible organization and you have done well. I want to encourage you to press on and you will continue to enjoy the support of Nigerians like myself. And the Senate President sends his support and encouragement.”

Some Pictures below.

Reps Pass Peace Corps Bill

The House of Representatives has ignored protests by security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, to pass a Bill to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps.

The Votes and Proceedings of the House, which The PUNCH obtained in Abuja on Sunday, showed that lawmakers endorsed the 45-clause report on the Bill, setting it up for concurrence by the Senate.

“The Bill sailed through on Thursday, last week; a new organization legally-backed by the Federal Government is underway.

The Bill was sponsored by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Kebbi State, Rt Hon. Abdullahi Umar-Farouk.

However, during the public hearing held on the Bill by the House Committee on Interior, the police, NSCDC and other security agencies vehemently opposed the idea of legalizing the Peace Corps.

They claimed that they would duplicate the duties of existing agencies.

But, the report of the committee to the House indicated otherwise.

The report, which was defended by the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Jagaba Adams-Jagaba, stated that majority of the stakeholders, who presented memoranda at the hearing, supported the corps.

According to him, “90 memoranda” were received on the Peace Corps Bill, besides other contributions from members of the public.

The report noted that, apart from the police and the NSCDC especially, the stakeholders generally expressed support for the Bill.

“Stakeholders were unanimous in their support for the Nigerian Peace Corps, saying when established, it would complement efforts of other security agencies and enhance youth empowerment,” it added.

Culled from The PUNCH.