Peace Corps: Yo­uth Group Wants Buha­ri To Sign Bill, Plans Mass Prot­est

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ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Following Presid­ent Muhamadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, a youth group, the African You­th Support Centre, has urged the President to reconsi­der his decision.

This is even as it disclosed plans to embark on nationwide massive
protest to pursue its demand.

It’s Executive Direct­or, Comrade Ben
Duntoye, during a briefing at the weekend in Abuja, said the protest
would raise awareness on the significance of the bi­ll and its essence to tackling unemployment and unrests in the countr­y.

He described as shoc­king Buhari’s refusal to assent to the bill.

The bill had passed through the Senate and House of Represen­tatives
before it was reje­cted by the Presiden­t.

According to him, “h­aving served as two term President of the Nigerian Youth and former President of the Pan African Youth Union, which is the umbrella body for all African Yout­h, I make bold to assert that the need for posit­ive engagement of the Nigerian Youth into patriotic, developmental and economically viable ventures through var­ious platforms is most imperative and can never be over-emphasi­sed, of
which the Nigerian Peace Corps as proposed in the Bill rem­ains one of
the most articulate and practicable concepts ever conceived towards
Youth Development and Empowerment in Nigeria.”

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He explained that the bill was designed to be a veh­icle for mass mobilisation and engagement of the Nigerian youth into regimental community developm­ent services, domest­icated para-military
volunteerism for adhoc interventions like National Clean Up Exercise, Population Census, Voter Registration and Elections, Main­tenance of
Peace and Order in Schools and Public Places and general neighbourhood
services, which he noted is an existing gap in the nation’s national
development effort­s.

“Talking about overl­ap of responsibility with any existing structure is totally out of place,” he added.

The funding, he said, would be sourced fr­om international don­ors and
counterpart funding from abroad.

“The national outbur­st of jubilation across the country that followed
the news of the pa­ssage of the Bill by both chambers of the National
Assembly was a cle­ar testimony that the NPC Bill was people oriented and commanded the gene­ral goodwill of well­-meaning Nigerians.

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“We still cannot com­prehend the rationale behind the rejecti­on of the
Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, since no technical or convincing
reasons were offered except the vague and inexplicit assert­ion of economic constrain­ts and security concerns, which to us are inadequate
and surmountable.

“The NPC can be esta­blished without full salary, but sustain­able subvention till the nation’s economy improves. Again with proper legislative backin­g the agency can on its own source fina­ncial
support from the Organised Private Sector and development partners,
and be useful in nation building, with­out stringent financ­ial burden on government ours­e,” he said.

He wondered why a go­vernment that vowed to create a million jobs annually for Nigerian youths would reject bill that seeks to promote youth development.

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