By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Mionsur Olowoopejo
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has urged the Federal Government to give legal backing for the establishment of Peace Corps of Nigeria, PCN, saying such would go a long way in tackling the problems of insurgency, kidnapping and other crimes confronting Nigeria.
Governor Ambode who made the remark at the 2016 passing out parade of over 2,800 Peace Corps cadets in Lagos, said when legally established, besides ensuring peace in the country, it would create alternative employment for youths, community development services and nation building.
Ambode, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Community Affairs- Mr. Tajudeen Quadri, stressed that only effective community policing could address the recent rise in communal clashes experienced in the country, adding that the security of lives and property remained the primary objective of any sensitive administration and should be taken seriously at all times.
Ambode who was also conferred with the title of the Commander of Peace, challenged the organisation to continue to champion the peace crusade.
He expressed optimism that the Peace Corps would surmount its present challenge as soon as the National Assembly gave a statutory backing to it.
According to the governor: “It is marvelous seeing what has happened today and looking at what had been touted that the Peace Corps is a dubious organisation; one can now see that in a genuine society such organisation is required to tackle crime. I am aware that it (PCN) is recognised by the United Nations charter before coming for recognition at the National Assembly.
“The Peace Corps of Nigeria bill is now at the third reading in the Senate and I believe by the time it is passed into law, it will alleviate some of the challenges they are having now.”
Earlier, the Commandant-General of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dr Dickson Akoh, said the youths that were commissioned into its Staff Officers Cadre, were subjected to a four week intensive training and orientation.
Akoh said: “In order to ensure that this training was conducted satisfactorily and in line with our established standards and norms, renowned resource personalities and specialists cutting across various backgrounds such as the Government Ministries, Parastatals and relevant Security Agencies were actively engaged in their training.”
He urged the newly commissioned officers of the corps to diligently perform their envisioned tasks, noting that in winning the support of the government and the citizenry they must be more civil and people-friendly in discharging their functions.