An aspirant for President with the National Conscience Party (NCP), Dr. Thomas Wilson Ikubese, is urging the National Assembly to void President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on the pending Peace Corps Bill.
Ikubese said this could be done by the National Assembly mustering two third of its members, saying the refusal of the President sign into law the Peace Corps Bill passed by the National Assembly is capable of creating more social problems for the country.
Addressing a press conference in Akure, Ikubese said the President’s action had dashed the hope of no less than 150,000 already expressing hope of being engaged gainfully.
He recalled that a Peace Corps member, Timothy Gambo, recently committed suicide in Gombe State when he heard of the President’s decision not to sign the bill into law.
Ikubese called on President Buhari to prevent unemployed youths from committing suicide by assenting to the Peace Corps of Nigeria Bill.
“Taking about 150,000 youths off the unemployment market and engaging them productively to the benefit of society is a venture that the administration should be proud to champion, having promised to create jobs,” he argued.
According to Ikubese “the excuse that the Federal Government cannot shoulder the remuneration of members of the Corps was not tenable when it is clear that the number of policemen in the country cannot cope with the security situation on ground.”
He said that apart from the issue of numbers, a large percentage of the policemen in the country were attached to personalities.
In his words, “It is a known fact that today, in not a few cases, as many as 30 police officers are attached to a single individual. Nigeria has a population of about 186 million people and a Police population of about 370,000.
“Of the 370,000, a staggering 80 percent of this number are assigned to private citizens, politicians, businessmen and private enterprises, leaving only 20 percent for the core police duties of peace and security.
“In simple terms, of the 370,000 police officers in Nigeria, 296,000 are assigned as ‘private’ guards, while only 74,000 are left to the core duties of policing a nation of 186 million people.
“The United Nations recommendation for Police to Citizen ratio is 1:400, meaning that every 400 people should be policed by an officer.
However, with the current Nigerian situation of 74,000 police officers to a population of 186 million people, we run on a ratio of 1:2,514.
This means that instead of a police officer to a population of 400 people, we have one police officer to 2,514 citizens, leaving us six times under-policed,” he said.