NPC Bill Not Dead, Says PCN Commandant – Dickson Akoh
National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh says the Bill to establish Nigerian Peace Corps was still on course and not dead, contrary to some media reports.
The House of Representatives had on Thursday last week, kicked against the second reading of the bid to override President Muhammad Buhari’s veto on the Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Peace Corps.
Some media reports had it that the Bill was finally dead, owing to the fact that the overriding process could not scale through second reading at the green chamber.
But Akoh, at a world press briefing in Abuja on Monday, faulted the media reports, describing it as “mischievous”, “highly misleading and a misrepresentation of facts”.
Akoh said “any discerning mind will know too that it is not the Bill itself that suffered a temporary setback via rejection, rather, it is the overriding process initiated by the House of Representatives.
“Therefore, without any fear of contradiction, let me say it loud and clear that the Nigerian Peace Corps Establishment Bil is not dead as widely publicised, but still alive and on course”.
He pointed out the merits of the Bill and the socio-economic benefits enshrined therein for the Nigerian youth and the nation at large, which he said, were the reasons why both chambers of the National Assembly overwhelmingly supported and passed the Bill in the first place.
Akoh, however, said there was “a deliberate gangup against the Bill and its good intentions were highly misrepresented by those who have access to Mr President”, adding that, it was on that premises that the President withheld his assent.
The Peace Corps Boss expressed disappointment over lawmakers who voted against the overriding process on Thursday, saying it was “a clear case of approbate and reprobate”, which he said was caused by “subtle threats anchored on political interests”.
He said, “the youths now know their enemies as the members who spoke against the overriding only succeeded in trading this all-important youth friendly Bill on the altar of securing re-election tickets”.
While appreciating the “patriotism” of those who spoke and voted in favour of the Bill, Akoh said the organisation would remain grateful to the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and the leadership of the House of Representatives for standing by the Bill.
Akoh expressed hope that “the politically-motivated challenge” currently facing the Corps would still be resolved, stressing that, the President would look into it and recall the Bill for assent.
While calling on officers of the Corps to remain calm and law abiding, the Commandant assured the public that, like the ‘Freedom of Information Act’, the Peace Corps Bill, which has already been passed by the National Assembly, would be assented to, sooner than later.