It is reported that the Senate on Thursday passed the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill into law.
The Bill, which was sponsored by Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC-Borno) was passed following a report presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Bayero Nafada (APC-Gombe North).
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, and the headquarters of the corps would be domiciled in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The bill which seeks to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for youth, will also facilitate peace volunteerism, community service, neighbourhood watch and nation building.
It will also facilitate the training of youth 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 functions of the corps include promoting social and economic development and empowering and preoccupying the Nigerian youth through job creation and provision of alternative employment.
A lawmaker, Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) said that the Bill would create job opportunities and help in augmenting the efforts of security agencies.
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.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, in his remark, said that the passage of the Bill would go a long way to institutionalise 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.
The Commander General of the Corps, Chinedu Nneji, in addressing journalists, 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.”
Written by Okolo Ezinne