Gombe state governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has said the Peace Corps organization should be allowed to assist the existing agencies in restoring peace and security in Nigeria.
Governor Inuwa said the state of Nigeria’s security calls for all hands to be on deck, especially in the areas of intelligence gathering and neighbourhood watch, adding that, “it is not about having guns everywhere”.
The governor was speaking in Gombe, the state capital on Tuesday, while receiving the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh.
Akoh was in Gombe with other national officials of the Corps for a North East zonal meeting, in continuation of the reformation agenda of the Corps.
Speaking through his Chief of Staff, Muhammad Kabir Usman, in an event well attended by commandants of the 6 north eastern states and officials of the state ministries in Gombe; Governor Inuwa also called on President Muhammad Buhari to give speedy assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill reintroduced at the National Assembly last week.
“Everybody has come to the conclusion that we are on a timed bomb. If we fail to take care of our youths, we are failing to take care of our future. Therefore, no reasonable government will neglect such an important segment of the society.
“We have come a long time in Nigeria that peace is eluding us, there are too many crises in Nigeria, we need peace and the right people who can bring this peace are the Peace Corps Patriots.
“No society can develop without peace. Our approach to security issues in Nigeria calls for a review. To secure the nation, to secure our local communities, is not about having guns everywhere; it is about having people with the right frame of minds and right attitude with a peaceful mind.
“So long the people are not peaceful in their minds, so long our local neighborhood are not in peace, Nigeria can never be in peace.
“Therefore, the core mandate of the Peace Corps is very relevant at this state of our national development.
“I call on the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Buhari, to exercise speed in ensuring that the Bill establishing the Nigerian Peace Corps is being signed into law.
“Nigeria is ours, to bring development, to bring peace, is not a sole responsibility of a particular person or a particular group; our security agencies, considering their numbers, they are not enough. At the current situation, the total number of our security agencies in Nigeria, the personnel, are not up to 2 million, and we are over 200 million. So, divide the 2 million by 200 million citizens, it’s a ridiculous percentage.
“And therefore, the task of securing this nation must not be left in the hand of traditional security agencies alone, everybody must come in to contribute. And your contributions as citizens, as a group, is very important, especially at this level of our development”, the governor said.
Pending the President’s assent to the Bill, governor Inuwa urged various state governors and local government areas to key into the activities of the Corps with the view to assisting the organization where necessary.
He said, “for young people to decide that we are doing this voluntarily, we are using our time, we are using our money to bring peace to this nation, I think you need a great encouragement. It is only a Patriot that can do that.
“My prayer is that, the Bill should be signed into law, so that you now become lawful and maybe certain funding should come your way, so you will be able to discharge your core mandate peacefully and in an orderly and efficient manner.
“There is no way you can operate efficiently and effectively without funding, no matter how you want to do the job, it’s not possible.
“Not only the federal government, all the states and local governments should look into your issue and see how they can come to your assistant so that you can continue to render this your vital role to the society”.
While pledging total support of the Gombe state government, Alhaji Inuwa assured that, “the government is articulating a good policy to ensure that the youth of Gombe state are well catered for”.
Earlier, the head of the Corps, Akoh, indicated the intention of the organization to establish its north eastern zonal headquarters in Gombe, in line with the newly established offices of the Deputy National Commandants (DNCs) to man each of the 6 geopolitical zones.
A piece of land for the construction of the zonal office is to be provided by the Gombe state governor.