The end of the cold war was celebrated in many circles to have effectively removed ideological barriers. However, that celebration was short-lived, as the last three decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of civil strife and violent conflicts around the world. Nigeria, for example, has not been left out of such conflicts, having witnessed a good number of protracted ethno-religious and political conflicts. More so, the prolonged years of military rule, the civil war and the proliferation of small arms, have made Nigerian youths susceptible to the culture of violence, thuggery and banditry.
Ideal peace and harmony are achievable by impacting the ethics and spirit of Peace Building, Disarmament, Conflict Resolution and Management on our youths, through Citizenship and Leadership Training and patriotic education/re-orientation, founded on the bedrock of strict discipline. This can be achieved upon the realization of two truths: that only in a peaceful environment will young people realize their full potentials; and that young people are innately endowed with all that is necessary to start building the peaceful world of their dreams today.
Hence, the rationale behind the establishment of Peace Corps of Nigeria can be better appreciated upon a critical appraisal of the current state and plights of the Nigerian youth. Educational and religious institutions, being the two cardinal bedrocks of good conscience, sound morals, discipline, acceptable values and norms, are on the verge of collapse, an unfortunate development that wields a strong grip on our youths, and unfortunately results in their involvement in social and economic vices of national impact. This has further necessitated the existence of Peace Corps of Nigeria.
Pivotal to the mandate or philosophy behind the establishment of Peace Corps is the obvious unemployment factor that had long plunged the youths to the path of neglect, hence the establishment of Alternative Employment Scheme (AES) designed for a temporary preoccupation of the unemployed youths across the country, to ensure self-productivity and societal relevance.
Under this scheme, the youths enlisted are given a 4-week initial orientation on Parade, Corps Discipline, Citizenship and Leadership Training. Part of the orientation also include lectures on: Patriotism and Nation-Building, National Ethics and Discipline, First Aid and Field Hygiene, Environmental Health, Peace Communication, Identification of Cultism and other related vices among the youths, Martial Arts, etc. Thereafter, they are posted to designated educational institutions, where they perform specific functions as outlined in the Aims and Objectives of the Corps.