The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) says Nigerians and lawmakers should appreciate the restraint exercised by President Muhammadu Buhari in refusing assent to the Peace Corps establishment Bill 2017.
The group said this in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Mr Austin Braimoh and Secretary Mr Cassidy Madueke on Tuesday in Abuja.
It also charged Nigerians to shun any form of dissension against the president’s action, adding that his refusal to sign the Bill as passed by the National Assembly was in the nation`s interest.
According to Braimoh, the president`s decision is anchored on the need to avoid proliferation of security agencies and unnecessary overlapping of their functions.
The group said it was in support of the reasons adduced by the president for rejecting the Bill, taking into cognisance his concern that Peace Corps, if created by law, would duplicate the functions of the Nigerian Police.
It noted that the constitutional role of the police which was providing security at the grassroots was already being complemented by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“To us, the President could not have accepted to impose additional financial burden on the government through a new security outfit being canvassed.
“This is given that the existing security agencies have at the moment been struggling with financial constraints,’’ it said.
The group appealed to the sponsors of the Peace Corps Bill in the House of Representatives to reconsider their threat of working to over-ride the President’s veto of the Bill.
According to the group, doing so will expose them as having ulterior motives in ensuring that the Bill becomes law by all means.
It noted that in advanced economies, organisations such as Peace Corps operated on voluntary basis, making huge impacts in the societies in very diverse ways without necessarily transmuting into government outfits.
It added that the corps could, however, continue to operate as a voluntary organisation to fulfill its original objectives which was capacity building for youth development, empowerment in agriculture, peace, education and conflict resolution.
“The Peace Corps over the past few years of its existence had been enmeshed in crises and controversies, getting into conflict with security agencies which viewed its existence as questionable.
“This is needless in a country like Nigeria that is presently battling with security challenges.
“It is against this background that we salute the courage of President Buhari to withhold assent to the Bill on Peace Corps.” the group said.
Newsmen report that the Peace Corps had been in existence since 1998, when it was registered by one of its founders.