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Poverty, greatest threat to democracy — Dogara

From Jimoh Ahmed, Owo

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A former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Dr. Yakubu Dogara,  has identified poverty as the greatest threat to the country’s democracy.

 Dogara stated this in his Convocation speech at the 13th Convocation/16th foundation anniversary of Achievers University, Owo at the weekend.

 The former Speaker who is also the Chancellor of the university, said this can be seen in vote buying and the use of money to compromise electoral and security officials during elections.

 He said, “On account of the sense of despondency and powerlessness that poverty breeds among the poor, the poor have and will always remain an ever ready tool in the hands of tyrants and demagogues, who in the course of history have always found it easy to mobilize for the purpose of subverting democratic institutions”.

Dogara, therefore, called on government at all levels in the country to make the elimination of underemployment and unemployment the focal point of their policies since they are the band-mates of poverty.

 The former Speaker also reminded lawmakers in the country that their responsibility is first to the people they represent and not the executive as there is no greater heresy than defying the people who elected them.

 He charged them to let the people be at the centre of their conversation on Legislative/Executive relationship.

 He posited that the current moment in Nigeria should bother those at the helm of affairs in the country.

 “Permit me to also say that for all elected officials,  including Mr President,  who ran for something as opposed to running against someone,  this is the moment they ought to be bothered because we are living in a deeply troubled democracy as nearly all Nigerian families are hurting. 

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 “Only God knows how many go to bed hungry. Although no rational individual would attribute our present depreciating decay to Tinubu’s administration, which is still in its infancy,  the truth is that he knew about it and promised to find solutions before assuming office,” he added.

 While commending the Student Loan Scheme by the Federal Government, Dogara also called for the inclusion of private university students in the scheme.

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