The United States Peace Corps is set to train officers and men of the National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPC) in the area of peace building and crisis mediation in the country.
Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, Commandant General of the NUPC, Dr Chinedu Nneji, said a delegation from his Corp is expected in the United States by Wednesday to outline modalities for the training as well as discuss areas of further assistance to Nigeria.
The Peace Corps boss also said the week-long visit would see the corps also meeting with United Nations’ officials to seek ways of partnering with its agencies to enhance peace in Nigeria.
“You would recall that the National Assembly has passed the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill and as we await presidential assent, we are already doing a lot of things so that we can take off smoothly when we get the assent.
“We have decided to travel under the invitation of the American Peace Corps to work out modalities…and learn from their experiences. The American Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President JF Kennedy and this means that they have a lot of experience and we are going to Washington and New York to discuss with them as well as the United Nations to see how we can partner to foster peace in Nigeria. We shall be discussing modalities of training by the American Peace Corps and also the equipment that we would need so that we can take off smoothly after we get the presidential assent”, he said.
He said as Chartered Mediators, the corps would deploy time-tested mechanisms in resolving several of the crisis afflicting the nation, adding that his men would also mediate in low-level conflicts to ensure that they do not get out of hand and become a national challenge.
While he said there was no dispute between the NUPC and the Peace Corps of Nigeria as the National Assembly has merged the two bodies into the Nigerian Peace Corps, Dr Nneji said it is after the presidential assent that the president would name the substantive head of the corps.