Again, senate passes controversial peace corps bill
The senate has passed a bill seeking to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the bill passed third reading after Sadiq Umar, chairman of the senate committee on interior, presented a report.
The bill is being sponsored by Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno north.
While presenting the report on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, Umar said his committee received “hundreds of memoranda” from stakeholders who are supporting the passage of the legislation.
The senator said the bill, if passed and assented to by the president, would help tackle rising unemployment in the country.
After presenting his report, the senate went into the “committee of the whole” where they considered and passed 40 sections of the bill.
The bill will be sent to the house of representatives for concurrence before it is submitted to the president for assent.
Controversy trailed the bill in the eighth assembly chaired by Bukola Saraki, former president of the senate.
In 2017, the police said “terrorist affiliates” had infiltrated the corps to “destroy the existing peace currently being enjoyed in the country”.
The police said this shortly after the Department of State Services (DSS) raided the national headquarters of the corps in Abuja and arrested Dickson Akoh, commandant-general, alongside over 40 members of the organisation.
In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the bill, citing security concerns and financial burden of funding the organisation.
But Ndume reintroduced the bill in 2019, arguing that the concerns raised by Buhari had been addressed in the new bill.
The bill passed first reading not long after the ninth national assembly led by Senate President Ahmad Lawan was inaugurated.
The bill passed second reading in December 2020.
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