Wednesday 24th May, 2017
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Peace Corps and its vengeful accusers

Peace Corps and its vengeful accusers

It is indeed becoming in­creasingly glaring that the enemies of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) are getting more desperate and bolder with the passage of each day, weav­ing all manner of shenanigans against the Corps. In this de­monic quest, no amount of lie is considered too ‘expensive’ to tell against the Corps, so much so that even respected me­dia houses have lent their sup­port to the purveyors of here­sy against the PCN via negative editorials.
Reading through some of these cheap lies being recy­cled about PCN, it is too obvi­ous even to a drooling imbecile that they are simply Voices of Jacob, but the hands obviously belong to Esau. Some of these publications (nay editorials) in question are simply a rehash of the baseless allegations leveled against the Corps by the Police, which had earlier been appro­priately responded to (in Sun­day Leadership of 5th March; Peoples Daily of 6th March; Thisday and Blueprint News­papers of 7th March).
The truth is that most of the purveyors of this recycled false­hood against the Corps are ei­ther not properly briefed on the core mandates of the Corps or they simply decided to pander to the inordinate wishes of the enemies of the Corps for rea­sons best known to them.
For purpose of clarity, the Core mandates of the Corps include: to Develop, Empower and Provide Gainful Employ­ment to the Youths in other to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community Services, Neigh­borhood watch, Nation-Build­ing and for other related mat­ters.
For anybody or organiza­tion to give kudos to the Police for violating the sanctity of the Corps in such an unholy man­ner speaks volumes about the despicable level we have sunk as a nation.
Just like the invasion of homes of some judicial offic­ers in the middle of the night by operatives of the DSS last year received nationwide con­demnation; similarly, the re­cent reckless intrusion into the premises of the Peace Corps of Nigeria by some security agen­cies and the mass arrest of offic­ers of the Corps in the wake of the invasion, stand condemna­ble in the court of public opin­ion. What makes the entire is­sue really worrisome is that in spite of the transparent nature of the Corps’ operations, some arm-chair critics have found a pastime in constantly making reference to the hitherto op­position of the Police and the Department of State Servic­es (DSS) to the hearing of the Peace Corps Bill in the National Assembly, which collapsed like a pack of cards in the face of su­perior arguments in support of the Corps.
The point must be stressed and even orchestrated that those canvassing for the pro­scription of the Corps have failed miserably. According to late Moshood Abiola, ‘’you don’t abort a pregnancy that has already been delivered.’’ In the same vein, any attempt to halt the inexorable movement of the Corps at this time that both chambers of the National Assembly have passed the Bill to give it a statutory backing will hit the brick wall.
To underscore the fact that the Police invasion of the Cor­porate Headquarters of the Corps was premeditated, it is necessary at this juncture to remind Nigerians of the sever­al judicial victories the Corps had won against the Police. Even the allegation that the Corps is acting like a paramil­itary organization is simply false, because its officers do not bear arms and neither do they have the power to arrest, investigate or prosecute. In its 18 years plus, of existence, the Corps has never claimed to be or acted like a paramilitary or­ganization. So, why is this alle­gation being continuously re­cycled?
To prove that its existence is legal and does not constitute a security threat to the nation, a Federal High Court of Nige­ria in 2010 made a categorical pronouncement on the Legal Status of the Corps in the mat­ter of Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria and 4 Others v Inspector-General of Police and 3 Others in Suit NO:FHC/ABJ/CS/231/2010. It is interesting to note also that suit, which was decided in favour of the Corps and has not been appealed till date, has the National Security Adviser as a party to it.
For the umpteenth time, let me remind those who have formed axis of evil against the rising profile of the Corps or even the Founder, Dr. Dick­son Akoh, that no amount of pressure, intimidation or har­assment will derail him from this positive course geared to­wards giving our youths a sense of direction. Several persons and organizations have thread this path of infamy in the past, against a man with a sizeable proportion of God’s grace and failed woefully.
The Corps has come to stay and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Period!
Ochela, a media consultant resides in Abuja

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