The Paramount Ruler of the Tiv Kingdom (Tor Tiv), Prof. James Ayatse called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgent public importance, assent to the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill.
Ayatse who is also the Chairman of Benue State Traditional Council also called on Benue leaders to only engage in activities that would preach peace to their followers.
The National Assembly recently passed a bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps and also adopted the conference committee report which seeks to give legal backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria.
Addressing the Officers and men of the Corps in his palace, Gboko, Prof. Ayatse said that what the Peace Corps seeks to address in Nigeria was the challenge of engaging the youths in the society.
He charged the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dr. Dickson Akoh not to relent in his crusade to get the youths off the street through gainful employments.
“What you are doing, you are serving the country and helping the country address a very major challenge we are having about engagement of our young people.
“Two days ago, this whole place was filled by young people here in Gboko. Some of them were outside drumming, and the common challenge all of them have, is that they don’t have something to do.
“This is what you are addressing.
“As parents and leaders, we know what it means when you leave youths idle. With all the energy and intelligence embedded in them, if you don’t engage them, the devil will engage them. That’s what you are doing”, the Tor Tiv said.
“I want to assure you that we will not withdraw that support until the bill is signed into law. We will continue to be there for you.
“I believe that, the President will have the reason to sign the bill because it addresses a very big challenge. As Politicians, they try to do it, whether they call it N-This, N-That. But you have provided a platform for them which they can easily use to solve the problems.
“I want to salute the gallantry of the leadership in the struggle, a long struggle for this noble work”.
Speaking on the recent persecution of Akoh and other officers of the Peace Corps by security agencies, the King said that the harassment was uncalled for.
Earlier in his address, the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh, said they were at the Tor Tiv palace to celebrate and congratulate him on his ascension to the traditional dynasty.
Akoh acknowledged the role the Tiv Area Traditional Council played while the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill was before the both chambers of the National Assembly.
“Immediately the public hearing on the Bill was advertised, the Tiv Area Traditional Council was the first institution that wrote a strong memorandum in support of Peace Corps, even though many other traditional councils supported it from other states”.
Akoh, who is also an Ambasador of Peace, also used the occasion to canvased for the unity of Benue leaders, urging the Paramount Ruler to champion the cause of peace not only among the Tiv tribes but the whole state .
“it is our desire that you make use of your professional background and your position as the Chairman of Council of Chiefs to bring Benue people together. It’s not all about the Tiv nation alone.
“I’m sure with exchange of visits, you can build confidence among the notable tribes in Benue State. We will continue to support you in all efforts to entrone peace in the State,” he said.