Peace Corps bill: Reps begin move to override Buhari

Peace Corps Establishment Bill: Reps begin move to override Buhari

Hope is not lost yet on the Peace Corps of Nigeria Establishment Bill as the House of Representatives has vowed to override President Muhammadu Buhari.

The legislative house also said it would override the president over nine other bills.

The spokesman of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, made this known on Wednesday while addressing journalists.

According to him, the process of overriding the president had commenced.

It would be recalled that Buhari has refused to approve the Peace Corps of Nigeria Establishment Bill.

The reason for the rejection, the president said, was the “scarce government resources” to fund it.

According to him, it would end up adding to the financial burden of the government.

The decision not to approve the bill is contained in a letter from the Presidency to the National Assembly and read by the Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Yakubu Dogara at plenary last month.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly in December 2017.

The Peace Corps of Nigeria has been involved in a battle with the police over the propriety of its activities.

There are pending court cases between the police and the corps.

Speculation had been rife earlier the president might not approve the bill.

But in an interview recently, the senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly, Mao Ohuabunwa, assured Nigerian youths that President Muhammad Buhari would assent to the bill establishing Nigerian Peace Corps.

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His words:  “Speaking to the fact, I don’t really see the president withholding his assent. This is the people’s bill.

“This is a bill that will create employment for the youth and remember, when we were discussing insecurity, I made an allusion to the fact that, even these young men and women can be trained as intelligent officers like we have seen.

“Security now has gone beyond machete and guns; we need a lot of intelligence, technology.

“These guys can be trained and I think this is also an avenue to reduce not only employment, but even underemployment. I want to believe that the president will jump at this and definitely assent to this Bill.”

He said however that in case the president refused to pass the bill, the National Assembly could exercise its constitutional powers to override the president.

 “If the contrary happens, there is always a channel of communication, he will send it back to us then we definitely know what to do from there.

“I don’t want to preempt, but if it is true the president has withheld his assent, then we have our statutory responsibility either to veto or override the president veto,” Ohuabunwa added.

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