By Yemi Itodo
The Emir of Daura, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Umar Farouk Umar, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to kindly rescind his decision on the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill.
Alhaji Umar is the paramount ruler of the community where President Buhari hails from in Katsina state.
President Buhari had, on the 27th February 2018, transmitted to the National Assembly, his decision to withhold assent to the Bill, giving paucity of funds and duplication of duties of existing security agencies, as reasons.
Addressing the delegation of officers of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) led by its National Commandant, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh in his Palace yesterday, the Emir commended the organization for its doggedness and for conducting itself peacefully by resorting to Rule of Law and Advocacy in pursuing its goals.
He said, as a father, he would look into the demands of the Corps with a view to making the Bill see the light of the day.
The paramount ruler acknowledged that, “when the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill becomes law, it would serve as a platform for providing massive job opportunities for the Nigerian youths and creating the desired peaceful atmosphere against the prevailing height of insecurity in Nigeria”.
Speaking earlier, the Peace Corps boss said, the Corps has not breached any known provisions of the laws of the land to warrant the constant harassment it has been suffering in the hands of some security agencies, stressing that his organization was a mere victim of distortion of facts and misrepresentations.
Akoh told his host that, “when it became obvious that there was a grand conspiracy to misrepresent the noble intentions of the NPC Bill before Mr. President with a view to frustrating his assent to it, the Corps, in September 2017, formally requested for an audience with Your Royal Highness, which was graciously granted”, pointing out that, on getting to Katsina, ‘’we were told that Your Highness was indisposed.’’
‘’If that visit with you had held and the facts of our case laid bare before you, it would have averted this temporary setback occasioned by Mr. President vetoing the Bill. Notwithstanding, now that we are with you, we do know and very hopeful that you will use your good office to appeal to your son, our President who we hold in high esteem to reconsider his earlier stance on this all-important Bill, ’’ Akoh said.
The National Commandant, who likened the visit to that of a ‘’child in distress reaching out to his father for solution’’, assured the Emir that, contrary to all negative reports against the Peace Corps, the organization has remained steadfast in its obedience to the rule of law, even as he also submitted that, evidence abounds that the organization was highly misrepresented before the President.
To further buttress his point, Akoh said that if the President is not convinced of the nobility of the Nigerian Peace Corps, he should set an Independent Commission of Inquiry to look into the past and present activities of the Corps, the outcome of which he assured would finally winnow the chaff from the grains of truth.