THE House of Representatives Thursday aligned itself with President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Peace Corps establishment bill.
President Buhari had in February declined his assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill passed by the National Assembly in 2017.
In separate letters to the Senate and House of Representatives, Buhari cited security concerns and financial implications amongst reasons for his decision.
The bill had sought to transform the Peace Corps from a non-governmental organisation, into a government para-military agency.
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An effort by the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Mr Emmanuel Orker-Jev to rally the lawmakers to allow the Bill scale the second reading stage which would have prepared the ground to override President Buhari’s veto on the Bill met the brick wall during a plenary session of the House presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Orker-Jev (Benue APC) argued that reasons advanced by President Buhari cannot hold water going by the inability of security agencies to curb the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery, the farmers-herders clashes and other heinous crimes in the country.
He also listed the creation of employment opportunities for the teeming population of unemployed graduates in the country as some of the benefits inherent in the passage of the Bill into law.
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Among those who spoke in his support were Mohammed Tahir Monguno (Borno:APC), Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa:APC) and Goni Bukar Abba (Yobe:APC), Rimamnde Shawulu (Taraba :PDP) who argued that the establishment of peace Corp would not only help in keeping the Peace in the troubled northeast geopolitical zone but would offer gainful employment opportunities for the members of the civilian JTF helping security agents to tackle the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency group.
However the Chief Whip of the House, Ado Doguwa, Aliyu Dau Magaji (Jigawa :APC), Adamu Chika (Niger :APC), Ossai Nicholas Ossai (Delta:PDP), and Musa Sarki Adar (Sokoto:APC) successfully rallied the vast majority members of the House against the bill on the basis that putting in place the Peace Corps was tantamount to having a parallel body with the duties and responsibilities of existing security outfits.
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Adar who claimed that there were so many underhand dealings associated with the recruitment process in the Peace Corps was of the view that overriding President Buhari on the Bill was akin to opposing the on-going anti-graft campaign of the President Buhari led administration.
At the end of the debate on the issue which lasted for about two hours, Speaker Dogara called for a voice vote which was in favour of those opposed to overriding the President veto on the Bill.