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Insecurity: Network calls for passage of NPC bill

The Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) has called for the passage of the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) bill as a matter of national urgency which…

The Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) has called for the passage of the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) bill as a matter of national urgency which will go a long way to complement the efforts of other existing security agencies in tackling the rising insecurity in the country.

The President, GICN, Barrister Edward Ejembi Omaga, made the call on Saturday in Abuja in a statement.

According to him, the quick passage of the all bill seeking to give a statutory backing to the Peace Corps of Nigeria which was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja in 2004 and internationally recognized by the United Nations is in the interest of the country.

He said there is no doubt that Peace Corps has been focusing on neighbourhood watch as the second line of public safety as well as education of community residents concerning security, amongst other duties.

He said that the network has watched with dismay, recent developments in the country especially the rising insecurity in many parts of the country characterized by kidnappings, wanton destruction of property and killing of innocent citizens with reckless abandon.

“More worrisome to us is the recent shift of focus of kidnappers to schools where they have carried out mass abductions of hundreds of harmless school girls and boys studying to secure a better future.

“The recent abduction of over 300 Kankara boys from Government Science School in Katsina State, Nigeria on December 11, 2020, followed by the kidnapping of Islamiyya school students, mostly girls in Dandume Local Government Area of Katsina State and the kidnapping of 279 schoolgirls from Government Girls Junior Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State barely two months (February 26, 2021) later, glaringly attest to the worsening insecurity situation in the country.

“The sad reality is that nobody in any part of the country is safe. Nigerians are apprehensive over the deteriorating security situation in the country which has not only sent palpable fears in citizens but taking tolls on our economy as the development has continued to scare away more potential investors. Many Nigerians can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed,” Omaga said.

He said that while the organation recognize the efforts by the current administration to move the country forward, particularly at a time when the world is battling a pandemic, and specifically, the prompt intervention and eventual rescue of the kidnapped school children, they urge the government to step up efforts to find a lasting solution to the mirage of security challenges facing the country.

He said, “The core objective of the reintroduced Bill which has passed First and Second Readings in the Senate is to “develop, empower and provide gainful employment for the youth, facilitate peace, volunteerism, community services, neighbourhood watch, nation-building and related matters.

“We find it very unfortunate and ridiculous that a government which declined assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) bill passed by the National Assembly in 2018, citing basically, paucity of funds to run the proposed agency, is spending millions of Naira to compensate and negotiate with terrorists and bandits who have continued to maim innocent citizens without any iota of regard for the sanctity of life.

“The benefits that will be derived from the establishment of the Peace Corps in Nigeria as a Federal Security Outfit outweighs by far, arguments from some quarter that making the Corps a statutory agency in Nigeria will be an additional burden on the Federal Government.”

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