By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said that funding was chiefly the reason why he withheld his assent to the Peace Corps bill recently passed by the National Assembly.
He also stated that given a presidential assent to the bill would mean creating another security agency with a mandate already being performed by other existing law enforcement bodies in the country.
The President made his position known in a letter read by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara at Tuesday plenary.
The letter titled “Presidential decision to decline assent to Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill, 2017 recently passed by the National Assembly read thus:
“Pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the House of Representatives, my decision, on 25th January, 2018 to decline presidential assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) bill, 2017 recently passed by the National Assembly.
“Specifically, reasons for the decision to decline assent to this bill include among others:
“a. Security concerns regarding the proposed Nigerian Peace Corps being authorized to undertake activities currently being performed by extant security and law enforcement agencies; and
“b. Financial implications of funding the establishment and operations of the proposed Nigerian Peace Corps, given the scarce financial resources may pose serious challenges to the government.
“Please, accept, Right Honorable Speaker, the assurances of my highest consideration.”