4th March, 2018
The National Association of Nigerian Students has reacted to the rejection of the Peace Corps of Nigeria bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the President has reneged on his campaign promises of employment creation.
The association, in a statement released by its National Public Relations Officer, Bestman Opeyemi, expressed dissatisfaction over the rejection of the NPC bill by the President.
Opeyemi expressed concern over the imminent loss of jobs that may result from the scrap of the NPC.
He said the association was shocked by Buhari’s rejection of the bill, as he is yet to fulfill his campaign promise of providing millions of jobs for Youths.
“It should be known that unemployment has riddled Nigerian youths to the marrow and one of the very meaningful means of creating employment is the peace corps which has been rejected by Mr President.
“Contrary to the campaign promises of creating millions of jobs for the Nigeria Youths in 2015 which made our compatriots and youths to cast a progressive vote for the Buhari-led administration.
All Nigerian students are youths, and we have mobilised thousands of Nigerian Students for the ongoing voters registration with the sole aim of positively exercising our franchise in support of a students/youths friendly leader, who will open his gates for discussions as regards the way forward for Nigerian youths,” he said.
Opeyemi disagreed with the President that the Peace Corps was a duplication of security duties, while arguing that it “will provide manpower for government establishment in times of needs, during emergencies and urgencies.”
He disclosed the the appropriate means of achieving peace was through proactive Neighbourhood Watch, as done by NPC, rather than the use of force.
He said the Peace Corps, if given the necessary support would device intelligence gathering approach to maintain peace in such places as educational institutions, places of worship, public institutions, township streets and villages
The student stated: “The umbrella body of Nigerian Students, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) received with displeasure the news of rejection of the Nigeria Peace Corps by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari.
“A critical analysis of this important Bill clearly reveals that the functions being sought by the Nigerian Peace Corps is akin to that of the American Peace Corps, Canadian Peace Corps, Bangladesh National Cadet Corps, Peace Officers Commission in China, Chinese Labour Corps, Lera Uniform Corps of Malaysia, Malaysian People Volunteer Corps and others.
“It is thus not a duplication of any existing government agencies but a body that when given a statutory backing will serve as a reservoir and feeder structure that will provide manpower for government establishment in times of needs, during emergencies and urgencies.”
Opeyemi claimed it was necessary for the Senate to override its bill on the premise that youths who may lose their jobs could be pushed into crime.
“NANS is appealing to the Senate to use its veto powers on the bill, as this remains hope for the youths in Nigeria.
“The peace Corps, will also go a long way in curtailing the menace of terrorism by offering intelligence gathering.
“However, with the rejection of the bill by Muhammadu Buhari president of Nigeria, more youths may be pushed to the evil of terrorism, crime, prostitution and armed robbery, as an idle hand is the devil’s workshop.”
In his submission, the Chairman of NANS in Ogun State, Comrade Olawale Balogun corroborated NANS PRO and appealed to the President to assent the peace corps bill.
“The peace corps can absorb over 800,000 of our unemployed youths
“This feat would not only helped the Buhari government fulfilled its promise to employ millions of youths but would also prevent idle youths from wreaking havoc on the country.
“Most importantly, the leadership of NANS in Ogun state uses this medium to call on students to get their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) because when the time comes we shall vote to ensure the emancipation of Nigerians and Nigerian students from the hands of the oppressors.
“We also use this opportunity to announce our “ONE STUDENT, ONE VOTER’S CARD CAMPAIGN” as we would move round our institutions in the state to meet with students, comrades, stakeholders and senior cadres to ensure compliance.
“We pray and hope that the President heed our pleas as a father for all.”