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– Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, discloses that the Nigerian Peace Corps bill has already been passed by each chamber of the National Assembly
– Dogara says lawmakers will not be distracted by the apathy shown by existing security agencies towards the establishment of the peace corps
– The speaker compares the opposition to the establishment of the peace corps by the police and other security agencies to how they treated the NSCDC in the run up to its adoption
Speaker of the House of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said Nigerian legislators could override President Muhammadu Buhari if he vetoes the Nigerian Peace Corps bill which seeks to make the private organisation an agency of government.
Dogara made the disclosure on Tuesday, March 29 in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, Premium Times reports.
He said the peace corps will bolster Nigeria’s current security and law enforcement capabilities.
“If the president doesn’t assent for whatever reason to the Peace Corps Bill we are at liberty to recall it back to parliament and muster the two-thirds in the House and Senate and pass in spite of Mr. President’s veto,” Mr. Dogara said.
Dogara, however, noted that Buhari’s reaction to the bill will determine the next action to be taken by parliament.
The speaker said the bill has already been passed by each of the chambers of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly’s passage of the Peace Corps Bill despite strong opposition from existing government agencies has set the group on a collision course with the police, State Security Service and the Nigerian Army.
But the speaker said the lawmakers will not be distracted by the antics of existing security agencies, adding that the country cannot spend too much on security.
“We cannot overspend on the issue of protecting the lives and the properties of our citizens, we cannot,” he said.
Dogara noted that the opposition to the establishment of the peace corps by police and other security agencies was acting in a manner similar to how they treated the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the run up to its adoption by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
He said the NSCDC founder, Ade Abolurin, was arrested on numerous occasions by security forces.
“That was the same argument when the Civil Defence Bill was before the House, that it could not be funded, that they were divulging some of the powers of the police to the Civil Defence— that it would never work.
“At the end of the day all these were surmounted and now we have the Civil Defence that in some cases some citizens have said that they are more dependable than the conventional police.
“I see them everywhere I travel to and they have become a pride of the society,” Mr Dogara said.
Meanwhile, We reports that Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has granted the bail application filed by the detained National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh.
Akoh had, through his Counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), filed a bail application, backed by 18-paragraph affidavit, on Monday, 20th March, 2017, urging that he be released from the Police cell.