Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Anambra State Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Andy Chibuzor Okpokwasili, has said that over one million people already engaged in the Corps will lose their jobs if the President Buhari failed to sign the Peace Corps bill passed by the National Assembly.
The Commandant said that youths already engaged in the service would join the ranks of the unemployed who roam the streets constituting a nuisance and committing crime.
Okpokwasili stated this when he received a non-governmental organization (NGO), ‘Youths for Credible Democrats of Nigeria’ (YCDN), visiting his office at the State Command in Awka. He urged the President to have a rethink and the sign the bill into law in order to save Nigeria from the menace of unemployed youths.
Represented by State Deputy Commandant Operation of the Corps, Osunkwo Christopher, Okpokwasili described the development as very sad and regrettable.
According to him, “It is a very sad development. The reasons Mr. President gave are: One, that the country does not have enough funds to support the organization; two, that the establishment of Peace Corps of Nigeria will mean duplication of the jobs of similar security organizations like the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Civil Defence, among others.”
“This is far from the truth. If our functions were a duplication of what others are doing, the National Assembly would not have passed the bill. Again, to say that a country like Nigeria does not have funds to support an organization that is meant to give jobs to unemployed graduates and secondary school leavers is not true also.”
“Withdrawal of presidential ascent from the bill is like a father denying his children the right to be gainfully employed. The prayer of the father is for his children to get better, not otherwise.”
“The bane of prostitution, armed robbery, kidnapping and similar vices among youths today are unemployment. A youth that is into a good job will have less time for crime,” he claimed.
“Since 1998, when this organization was formed, it has engaged over one million youths from the 36 states and the FCT, who are presently on the verge of losing their jobs,”Okpokwasili stated.
In his remark, the National President of Youths for Credible Democrats of Nigeria (YCDN), Okeke Godwin Chinemelu (Esq) said that the purpose of the visit was to encourage them, urging the Corps to remain resolute in their quest to serve the country.