The African Youth Support Centre (AYSC) has expressed shock over President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) Bill, after being passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.
Its Executive Director, a former president of the Pan African Youth Union, Comrade Ben Duntoye, noted that the PCN “is designed to be a vehicle for mass mobilisation and engagement of the Nigerian youths, lamenting that ‘turning down such progressive Bill is very irreconcilable.”
According to him, the PCN is the most cost effective agency to provide maximum services at a low cost, and that it has potentials to attract funds to itself.
“The AYSC had done a careful study of the bill before the public hearing organised by the National Assembly, we discovered that the NPC is structured to be the most cost effective agency of government in Nigeria that shall provide maximum services at the most minimal cost to the national economy with great potential of attracting international funding and support like its counterparts around the globe.
“That same President and government that vowed to created a million jobs yearly for youths and commitment to massive youth empowerment, and same government that could get millions of dollars to fight insurgency, could turn down such a progressive bill is very irreconcilable,” he said.
He, therefore, called on the President to reconsider assenting to the Bill, and appealed to the National Assembly to keep up its commitment to ensuring better lives for youths, adding that they “shall mobilise the masses to prove the popularity of the Bill.”
It would be recalled that the President rejected the bill on the basis of duplication of duties with existing paramilitary agencies, and for huge financial burden it will bring for the government.
Stop attacking our ministry, Fayemi tells Reps
By Ayoni M. Agbabiaka
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has expressed worry over what he described as the “continued attacks on me and my Minister of State, Hon. Bawa Bwari, by the House Representatives and its leadership.”
He said the disparaging remarks by the House members, especially the Majority Leader, who went ahead to address another conference in Lagos on the matter some days ago “are unbecoming.”
The minister expressed this feeling at a press briefing in his office on Thursday.
“It is unbecoming of the House of Representatives to go outside of its Hallowed Chamber to attack our ministry on grounds that are unfounded and has no basis.
“I would not allow my name to be rubbished on grounds that are unfounded, unwarranted and that cannot be defended on any basis.”
“Since the House of Representatives has now said they have no confidence in me and my colleague as ministers, I do not believe it should expect me to even honour any invitation by them again,” he said.
He however called for a stop to the legislative and executive clash, saying that “its not at the interest of the public. Enough of this attack”
“If Nigeria is our interest and how to ensure that all of these processes that have been incorrectly handled (by previous governments) are now being handled in the best interest of our citizens; we do not need these beat-backs between the executive and legislative branches of government. It is not helpful to us and it is not fair to the Nigerian citizens,” he said.
He added that more than twice, the ministry had honoured the National Assembly on matters concerning the Ajaokuta Steel Company, but couldn’t make it to the sectoral debate on the floor of the House of Representatives scheduled for last week, as he was busy attending to other equally serious issues at the time.
According to the copies of letters made available to Blueprint, the inability of the ministers to attend that Debate was duly communicated to the leadership of the House.
Youths tasked on peace, accountability, good governance
By Paul Okah
Director of Political and Democratic Matters of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Comrade Obinna Nwaka, has charged youths to shun cultism and promote good governance.
He gave the charge recently during the 2nd Annual Conference of the Council held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
The event, which was equally used to mark the 61st birthday of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had many dignitaries across the nation’s political sphere in attendance.
Nwaka, however, alleged that the rights of youths had been trampled upon and neglected, despite the fact that youths constituted 65 million of the nation’s total population.
He urged them to shun unnecessary competition, mismanagement of office, unproductive activism on social media as well as making unguarded statements.
Nwaka also told the youth to avoid “political thuggery, selection of wrong leaders, involvement in corruption, poor participation in electoral matters and nonchalant attitude on important issues that determine the future of the unborn generation.”
In his goodwill message, a presidential aspirant for the 2019 elections, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, challenged the youth to tackle poor leadership bedeviling the county and stop blaming the old generation for corruption and poor leadership when they “can improve the system through effective leadership.”
“It is high time the youths proved themselves and become productive because they are the ones being affected the most.
“The days of sharing money in Ghana-must-go bags are over. I will share Ghana-must-go bags full of ideas on how to move Nigeria forward. I have written a book and mapped out plans to make Nigeria better if elected to lead this county in 2019,” he said.