Ortom declares support for Peace Corps, as Akoh expresses confidence in Buhari

 

By Yemi Itodo

The Executive Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, has declared that, the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) has “placed Nigerian youths on the highest pedestal in the country”.

This was even as, the National Commandant of PCN, Amb (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, has passed vote of confidence on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, calling for a little more patience to enable him deliver on his campaign promises.

Speaking on Saturday at Ogoli-Ugboju, Benue State, venue for the end of the year ceremony of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Governor Ortom said the Corps, when established, would be one of the best thing that would happen to Nigerian youths under this administration.

Ortom who was a Special Guest at the event, described the Corps as “well structured and most organised youth organisation in Nigeria”, expressing optimism that the youths would be glad to have the bill signed to law.

Ably represented by the Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, Governor Ortom also called for “moral, material and spiritual support” for the Corps, even as he lauded the “doggedness, resilience and consistency” of the founder, Akoh, despite persecutions from all quarters.

“Today, we have this young man, who is the organiser of the highest and most well organised and structured youth organisation in Nigeria.

“Take it or leave it, I think he has proved his mettle. And we have no choice, than to praise the Almighty God for his life. Whatever Akoh has achieved, is worthy of emulations, he does not deserve condemnation, rather, he deserves all the commendations”, the eulogized Akoh.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the National Commandant, Akoh, expressed worry at the level of criticisms against the Buhari-led administration, stressing that the corps was of the strongest conviction that the President was on the right track.

“If you have been in leadership position in the past or currently in leadership, you will agree with me that change, ideal revolution and sustainable development cannot be achieved overnight.

“Genuine changes worldwide, though painful and difficult to achieve, can only be attained through collective prayers, hardwork, deliberate commitment and high level of patriotism,” he said.

Akoh said also that for the much needed even-development to take place in the country, it was important to re-examine the near absence of social infrastructures in the rural areas.

He urged the government and well meaning Nigerians to make concerted effort towards the provision of basic infrastructures in the grassroots to reduce the challenges of rural-urban migration.

Speaking on the recent court judgement and about N57m judgement debt standing against the Nigerian Police, Akoh said his organisation would not mind to discourage the enforcement of the cost implications, saying his Corps believes in confidence-building and institutional cooperation with all government security agencies in the interest of nation building.

Giving the keynote address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Micheal Adikwu, said the development of rural areas was indeed critical for sustainable development of any country.

Adikwu, who was represented by Prof. Solomon Ogbu, of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, said that the Peace Corps was strategically poised to ensure that youths, especially in rural areas are meaningfully engaged.

“I believe that when President Buhari signs the Peace Corps Bill, which has already been passed by the National Assembly, it will compliment the effort of the police and the National Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“Where the police will use force, the Peace Corps will use tact and diplomacy to settle disputes so that both parties can part happily with no winner or loser.

“This strategy is especially needed in our universities and colleges to ensure prompt and appropriate responses to disputes before they escalate.

“I believe that Peace Corps will have a strong role to play in curtailing cases of exam malpractices, kidnappings, theft, rape and other abhorrent occurrences found in our societies these days,” he said.

Adikwu also said that the greatest benefit of the Peace Corps was its capability to offer meaningful employment to the millions of restless unemployed youths in the country.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of International Peace Medal to people who have made impact in the country, in their various fields.

Some of the recipients were: Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Youth Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Adhama, music icons, Chief Bongos Ikwue, Zakki Azay and Chairman, Kuje Area Council, FCT, Hon Abdullahi Galadima.

Those who bagged Senior Advocate of Peace include, Prof. James Ayatse, the Tor Tiv, Dr. Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, the Och’Idoma the IV, second Republic political figure, Chief Wanteresh Paul Unongo, former Deputy governorship candidate in Benue, Alhaji Usman Abubakar (Young Alhaji) and former first lady of Benue State, Chief Mrs Regina Akume.

The theme for this year’s event is “Rural Sustainability and Nation Building: The Roles of Social Organisations”.

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