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Poverty greatest threat to Nigeria’s democracy — Dogara

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has identified poverty as a significant threat to democracy in Nigeria. Dogara made the assertion…

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has identified poverty as a significant threat to democracy in Nigeria.

Dogara made the assertion during a programme at the Marriott Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos State.

In a speech made available to reporters by his media aide, Turaki Hassan Adamu, Dogara emphasised that the widespread poverty among Nigerian citizens indicated that democracy was not serving the majority effectively.

He said, “Our democracy is not working for the majority of our citizens. Although they are alive and free, they lack the means to pursue happiness.

“Poverty is a greater threat to democracy than weak institutions because it deprives poor citizens of their political voice and prevents them from holding their governments accountable; shattering public trust in democratic institutions.”

Dogara, who represented the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa Federal Constituency for 16 years and served as Speaker of the 8th Assembly, spoke on the topic: “Democracy and the Free Market Economy”.

He highlighted the importance of utilising democratic rights to build an inclusive economy that empowers the majority of Nigerians to reach their full potential. He said, “Staying engaged, as we are doing today, is one way to make our democracy work.”

Dogara stressed the need for continuous pressure on the government to set clear targets and monitor progress in addressing poverty.

He said, “Poverty, though experienced by individuals, is created by parlous systems that fail to protect citizens’ rights to a decent standard of living.”

Citing examples from other countries, Dogara said, “After 40 years of policy implementation and effective governance, China has successfully lifted 770 million of its citizens out of poverty. Similarly, India has lifted nearly 250 million people out of multidimensional poverty. With purposeful leadership, Nigeria can achieve that.”

 

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