- The Nigerian Senate has urged the federal government of Nigeria to give statutory backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria
- This was sequel to the report of the Senate committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters, urging the Senate to go ahead with the adoption of the conference committee report
- The Senate's move was however misunderstood in certain quarters
The Nigerian Senate has clarified the ambiguity emanating from the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill passed on Tuesday, July 25.
NAIJ.com gathered that two different groups had laid claims to the Bill passed
While Ambassador Dickson Akoh, the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria had addressed the press, thanking the National Assembly for "restoring hope to the Nigerian youths"; Dr Chinedu Nneji, Commandant General of National Unity and Peace Corps had also thanked the National Assembly for passing the bill via a media statement.
Reacting to the controversies surrounding the bill, the Senate Spokesman, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said the bill passed into law by the National Assembly was to give legal backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria, under Akoh.
Senator Abdullahi who made the statement on Thursday, July 27, while addressing National Assembly correspondents, said the report in some quarters that the National Assembly passed and adopted the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill was misleading.
According to the the sentor, the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill did not pass through the House of Representatives and as such, the Senate could not force it on the them.
“Let me say that, in the Senate, we had the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill and we also had the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill.
“When we were considering the Peace Corps Bill, an observation was raised that there was another bill which has similar objectives, that was the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill.
“So it was agreed that the bill should be incorporated into the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill. That was done. When we did that, we then passed our own version,” he said.
Senator Abdullahi added that it was during the conference committee to harmonise the two versions of the bill passed, that the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill was removed and the lower house version was adopted.
He said:“The House of Reps maintained, that there was no bill called the National Unity and Peace Corps Bill. So, there was no basis for harmonisation. They maintained their stand that the only bill they passed was the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, for which we also considered.
“So, at that point of harmonisation, the conference committee adopted the position of the House of Reps.
“Effectively, what this means is that, the only agency which we considered its bill was the bill that said, the Peace Corps of Nigeria and, of course, dissolution within the context of that bill only referred to Peace Corps of Nigeria.
“What that means effectively is that, the bill that says National Unity and Peace Corps Bill is still intact, there is no provision in our law where we have even touched it.
“We want to advise Nigerians to be guided by what we have done, there should be no ambiguity.
“We know there are people out there who are claiming that the Bill we passed affected them, I don't think that is the correct picture.
“The bill we passed and adopted, was the one promoted by the Peace Corps of Nigeria under Mr Dickson Akoh,” the Senate spokesman explained.
He however said the bill made provision for any group that is peaceful and with similar objective, to approach the Nigerian Peace Corps and be incorporated.
NAIJ.com had reported that the Nigerian Senate passed the Peace (establishment) Corps bill on Tuesday, July 25.
Watch the NAIJ.com TV video report on how Nigerian youths protest made the National Assembly pass the 'Not Too Young To Run' bill.