By Goodluck Ikiebe
The National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPEC) has shed more light over the misguided impression and information about the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, saying that no group or person owns the organisation.
The Commandant General, Dr. Chinedu S. Nneji, while briefing Newsmen at the headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, noted that the aim of the media parley is to correct the misguided impression being peddled around on the media by some mischiefs makers on the issue of the Nigeria Peace Corps.
According to him, “it is on record that NUPEC BillvSB375 and HB1242 were all Gazetted by the National Assembly.
“Our Bill passed through various stages of legislation before it got to the final stage where Harmonization committee was set up and it was agreed that we go with one name which is Nigeria Peace Corps”, he explained.
“The reason for harmonization was to adopt one version of the different Bills, which will represent the two organizations before the law”.
“After the harmonization, the bill was transmitted to the President for assent, which we are now waiting for the presidential assent”.
“It is important to note that the bill is an offshoot of the proposal/defense orchestrated by the National Unity Peace Corps and the Peace Corps of Nigeria.
Dr Nneji said that, “it is therefore pertinent to mention that the outcome of the bill will be shared between the two organizations in a manner that will be determined by the presidency”.
“It is therefore important to advice members of the public to disregard any other misinformation coming from any other quarter apart from the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
“We also request the President to grant assent to the Bill, and accommodate the Youths that are clamoring for employment through the Peace Corps in the interest of justice”.
The Commandant, while speaking on the misguided impression in the media space, emphatically debunks the claim that a particular organization owns the Peace Corp bill.
He said, “the organization went as far as mentioning a Senator as one who said that but on our side we know that all the Senators in National Assembly are seasoned senators and will not go into such misguided statement”, Dr Nneji added.
“Anytime a bill is passed in National Assembly and transmitted to the President, that bill becomes the property of the Nigerian state and the presidency. when a presidential assent is granted, it becomes a creation of National Assembly, which is authenticated by the President. Even though National and Peace Corps was part of the pursuit of the bill at the National Assembly, we can not lay claim that the bill belongs to Peace Corps of Nigeria or National Unity and Peace Corp rather the bill belongs to Nigeria state and the presidency. it is the presidency that will sign the bill and appoint whoso ever that is going to head this new agency in the interest of the country”.
“That is the position of the law and that is the position of the bill and don’t forget that anytime a bill is assented to, it becomes an act of parliament. An act of parliament is not own by any individual rather it is owned by the state”.
However, fielding question on signing the bill into law by the pyresident, Dr Nneji noted that the process is still on course and that it will be signed into law at the appropriate time.
His words, “Well am not the President of the country, neither am the Chief Press Secretary or his spokesman but all I know is that he has contacted all the relevant agencies that are supposed to make inputs in the bill to the best of my knowledge, they have all responded and the President is studying their responses. To me, I believe, that the bill would’ve been signed on the 11th of May 2023, but if it has not been signed i wouldn’t know but I believe it would’ve been signed and what we are waiting for is the announcement”.
“The announcement can come at anytime because the law did not say it must be announced the moment it was announced so let us all fold our hands and wait”.
“The President in his wisdom will do the announcement at the appropriate time”.
What is with Mr. President is a harmonized version of the bill and the harmonization was by the National Unity and Peace Corps, which I am heading and the Peace Corps of Nigeria, which another person is heading. After harmonization, these two organizations were collapsed into forming the Nigeria Peace Corps, it is now the Nigeria Peace Corps that the president will grant assent to after the assent is granted.
“The Nigeria Peace Corps will now become an agency of the government and the President will now determine what will happen to the agency and appoint who ever that is going to head it and the people that will work under the agency this is the position of the law.
Meanwhile, speaking on the role of the agency, the Commandant noted that the Peace Corps will be saddled with a lot of responsibilities in ensuring peace and stability in the country.
He continued, “Our major role is contained in our bill, which the president will grant assent to. Part of our work is to intervene where there is crisis, mediate, resolve, mitigate any form of crisis in the country.
There is crisis in the area of insecurity and that is what is brooding insecurity in the country and we feel that all the kidnapping activities in the country, people killing each other because of farm lands and herdsmen and farmers clashes will all be settled”.
“All these are begging for resolution and it will require an agency like ours to go in and resolve some of these disputes, it will go a long way to provide amicable way of living in total peace in the country”.
“Further to that, we will be granted the power to check the in-flux of animals, the movement of people into the country by this, I mean that the the Peace Corp will have a table at the international airports, all the entry points into the country where we will screen. When the Nigeria Immigration Service, finishes their work, the Peace Corp will screen all the individuals that are coming into the country and to also determine where they are going too and the Peace Corp act as a guard or a guide to those that have come into the country to ensure that they get to their various destination without molestations”.
“The Peace Corp will also work in synergy with other security agencies in order to achieve this, Peace Corp will also go into the forest if need be to also flush out and smoke out miscreants that are busy terrorizing our people in the high way”.
“The Peace Corps will also make sure that communal disputes that have bedeviled our country in the past, will be resolved amicably, the Corps will also generate employment for the Nigerian youths and that will reduce youth restiveness and bring total normalcy to the country” he assured.