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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Democracy can only be sustained if it works for the people, not politicians - Dogara

Democracy can only be sustained if it works for the people, not politicians - Dogara

Democracy can still be threatened in Nigeria, Dogara warns

- Yakubu Dogara, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has called for the need to put more efforts in guarding democracy in Africa

- He said that democracy in the continent can still be threatened if not properly handled

- He also said that democracy can only be sustained if it works for the people, not few politicians

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Yakubu Dogara, the speaker of the House of Representatives, , has called for more concerted and cautious efforts on the part of lawmakers, especially from the National Assembly, to guard against break up in democratic practice in Africa.

Dogara warned that democratic practice in Nigeria and other African countries could still be threatened again.

He gave the warning when he received a parliamentary delegation from National Assembly of the Republic of Niger, led by Sanousi Mousa Mareini, Vanguard reports.

The speaker stated that Nigeria and Niger have had their share of military interventions until the return of democracy in 1999.

He, therefore, counselled lawmakers in Africa to protect democracy by ensuring that the will and aspirations of citizens were prioritised in the discharge of their duties.

He said: “Unfortunately, we have had military interventions in governance in both Niger and Nigeria. It was only in 1999 that democracy was restored in both countries.

“That, therefore, means that we cannot take this practice of democracy as if it is automatic or as if it cannot be threatened. If it was threatened in the past, it means that it can also be threatened today.

“It is now left for us, as members of parliament, to use our very vantage positions as lawmakers to make sure that we are investing in the development and to ensure prosperity for the people.”

“It, therefore, means that for democracy to be sustained, it must work for the people and not for us.”

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Dogara urged the lawmakers from Niger to ensure that they were active in their government, serving as checks through their legislative oversight, of the activities of the executive to ensure that it delivers on the promises of democracy which is freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

He added that when a parliament isn’t functional, the benefits of democracy cannot be enjoyed by the people.

We previously reported that Dogara, on Wednesday, January 31, denied criticising his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties.

In a rejoinder signed by his special adviser on Media and Public affairs, Turaki Hassan, Dogara said he did not mention any political party while delivering a recent speech.

The speaker clarified that he did not attack his party nor mention the name of any political party in the speech.

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