By Yemi Itodo
Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, has stated the readiness of the Nigerian Parliament to partner with the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) and other relevant bodies on legislations that will promote peace, security and environmental protections.
Omo-Agege said, peaceful existence can not only be guaranteed by the government alone, but through concerted efforts of various peace loving organisations and individuals who appreciate and value the essence of peace.
The lawmaker stated this at the weekend in Abuja, at an event organized by PCN to commemorate 2019 United Nations International Day of Peace, with the theme, ‘Global Climate Action For Peace: The Role of Youths in Protecting Our Environment’.
PCN, which is seeking legislation and government’s approval to become an agency in Nigeria, currently enjoins a consultative status with the United Nations and ECOWAS.
According to Omo-Agege, Nigerians now experience “unpredictable rainfalls, storms, hurricanes destroying lives, properties, agricultural products and in general, affects the peaceful living of people in the society”.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society Organisations, Princess Modupe Ozolua, Omo-Agege said, “as the Deputy President of the Senate, I reassure the United Nations, the Peace Corp of Nigeria, government ministries, agencies, civil society organizations and all stakeholders that I will continue to work with all of you to initiate and support bills that relate to peace, security, youth and environmental protection.
“Today, as we commemorate the international day of peace, I call on all Nigerians to remember that peaceful existence does not lie in the hands of the Government alone, but in the goodwill and conscious efforts of citizens to ensure that things are done right in their immediate environment.
“I want to commend the Nigerian Peace Corp, the United Nations and all stakeholders for continuously reminding us that there is a global mandate to be safe-keepers of Planet Earth and of each other”, he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, National Commandant of PCN, Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh said, “Nigeria has become a theatre full of tension, violence, declining values, electoral fraud, social injustice, poor resource management, ethnic and religious intolerance. Related to this, the gun culture has already taken a dominant position in the psyche of Nigerians, threatening the future of the youths who deserve a peaceful and better quality of life”.
Akoh said, “peace cannot be attained in the midst of avoidable crises, the kind that we are witnessing today in Nigeria. These needless crises should attract the concern of well-meaning individuals in the polity, including the government. No doubt, if the government takes the right decision, it is possible for people to live in peace and harmony”.
As part of activities to commemorate the 2019 UN Peace Day, the PCN Saturday morning, also organised a marathon race in Abuja, featuring 193 Sports men and women who participated in a six kilometer open race.
There were prizes for participants who emerged victorious with Mr Fenu Ismaila, 23 years old emerging first position, clinching a cash prize of N100,000.
The second runner up, Mr Utsafa Friday got N50,000 while the third runner up Jacob Jere got N25,000.
The Corps also offered to pay school fees for one full session, for five teenagers who participated in the race.
In addition, Dr Edet Ekpenyong, FCT Commandant of the Corps and the Chairman of the Marathon race organizing Committee, disclosed that there was a price for the first 30 persons to complete the race.
By Yemi Itodo