UPDATED: Peace Corps: We have power to override Buhari’s veto – Dino Melaye

File photo of Members of the Nigerian Peace Corps during a procession in Ibadan on Wednesday (26/7/17) to celebrate the passage of the Corps bill by the Senate. 03800/26/7/17/Adeogodiran Timothy/HB/BJO/NAN

A senator, Dino Melaye (Kogi-APC), says the National Assembly should invoke its power to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Peace Corps Bill.

The president in letters to the two legislative chambers cited security concerns and financial burden of funding the organisation by the government as his reasons for withholding assent.

The rejection has been greeted with criticisms from some Nigerians who disagreed with the president’s position.

Raising a point of order on Wednesday, Mr. Melaye said the bill once it becomes an Act will help the country solve its problem of unemployment.

He cited the example of the establishment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as a case-study of why the bill should be allowed to stay.

“The same thing happened when the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) was to be established, there was also the same complaint that there was no money and all of that but today we can see the advantages of the civil defence and how they have helped in safeguarding the government infrastructure.”

The senator accused the APC-led administration of borrowing hugely without making provisions for the youth.

“$5.5 billion was borrowed from Euro bond; what part of it will the youths of this country benefit from? $1 billion is to be spent on security and how does this affect the youths of this country?” he questioned.

“Without fear or favour, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 16 years borrowed N6 trillion and this government in three years have borrowed N11 trillion but there is no specific programme that will empower the youth.

“Also N500 billion was earmarked for the social investment programme of the Federal Government but we have not seen any impact.

“If the Peace Corps is given an opportunity to exist, thousands will be employed and this will help to fight unemployment in this country.”

Mr. Melaye added that the President’s veto will be overriden by the National Assembly if an attempt to get his assent failed to work out.

“We may need to write Mr. president to review his position if not we have the power on behalf of the Nigerian youths who voted us to veto him so that people will become the ultimate beneficiaries of this bill,” he said.

The Senate did not take a position on Mr. Melaye’s point of order.

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