Point Blank

Peace Corps Is ‘419’… It’s Just Like MMM, Says Akpabio.

Godswill Akpabio, minority leader of the senate, on Tuesday compared Peace Corps of Nigeria to the Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox (MMM) scheme, which he described as “419”.

The term 419 is used to describe illegitimate deals.

Contributing to a debate on the peace corps of Nigeria bill at plenary, the minority leader said the upper legislative chamber could not afford to pass the bill given the issues surrounding the peace corps.

He argued that if the senate passed the bill, it was “going to legitimise illegitimacy” and it would be like giving a legal backing to

“Honestly speaking my submission will be to support the earlier speakers, it is better for us to tread on the part of caution, when you talk about para-military organisation, we may be adding to insecurity in the nation vetting and other things have to be done before we start putting uniform on people and giving ranks,” Akpabio told his colleagues.

“It is also almost like our government to make a law on MMM where youth have been taken advantage of and people have lost money, millions of naira and then someone brings a law to legitimise MMM which we know is a fraud.

“Some of them are field marshals and they have not gone to any war, many of them are lieutenant-generals, I have seen some saluting as brigadier-generals, I have seen them in public occasions where the youth use their clothes to clean the seats for the commandant-general.

“This thing is 419. We cannot make a law for an individual to collect millions of naira.”

The former governor of Akwa Ibom state said if anyone sought to help the youth he or she could do that through a foundation that did not necessarily need the laws to back it.

“If an individual wants to empower youth, he can do that with through a foundation. He does not need a law from the national assembly,” he said.

“I would suggest that the appropriate thing to do is to step it down. Controversies are too many. Remember when we started with the civil defence, they were not meant to carry arms but many years later they started carrying arms.”

Lamenting the rate of insecurity in the country, Akpabio said it was unfortunate that people not fit to be in security agencies have been recruited into the police force.

“If you know the number of armed robbers and criminals they bring out of Police College in Ikeja after discovering that and they are going there just to legitimise their trade by becoming policemen,” he said.

“Many of them have been sacked from training. So where we are now is that when we bring another corps with uniform, we are going to legitimate illegitimate”.

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