PIC.16. CROSS SECTION OF STUDENTS DURING AN INTERACTIVE SESSION THE SPEAKER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REP. YAKUBU DOGARA, AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA ON MONDAY (9/5/16). 3450/5/2016/JAU/NAN

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has observed that the country had been under the stranglehold of men and women of a generation that had overreached itself, indicating that the younger generation cannot make it to the political leadership of the country without a fight.
The Speaker, who stated this in Abuja during an interactive session with universities’ student leaders, pointed out that younger Nigerians can only fight the entrenched interests by registering to vote during elections and ensuring that their votes count.
The interactive session was organised by the National Institute of Legislative Studies, NILS.
His words, “This country belongs to you, but it’s under the stranglehold of men and women of a generation that have overreached itself.
“The truth is that nothing will be ceded or conceded to your generation without a fight. In this endeavour, your voices mean nothing if you don’t have the votes. Therefore, all students in Nigeria must not only register to vote and cast their votes during elections, they must also ensure that their votes, count.
“There is no other better way by which you will earn respect for yourselves and ensure that the gifts you have taken to the university to polish ultimately benefit your generation.
“The truth is that nothing will be ceded or conceded to your generation without a fight. In this endeavour, your voices mean nothing if you don’t have the votes. Therefore, all students in Nigeria must not only register to vote and cast their votes during elections, they must also ensure that their votes, count.”
Dogara, while reminding the students that in them lay the promise of a great nation that would emerge from the ashes of the current travails to create a Nigeria that everybody would be proud of, encouraged all Nigerian youths not to despair or feel helpless, despondent or marginalised.
Noting that the culture of peaceful protest, demonstrations and general activism was not only necessary in a democratic state, but was in fact a constitutional right, he stressed that such a culture will ensure accountability of government to the people.
The Speaker, who pointed out that resistance to tyranny, crusade for justice and good governance require courage, patriotism and ideological purity, said: “It was Martin Luther King, Jnr, who said that: “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed”. Indeed, ‘the man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny’, to paraphrase Prof Wole Soyinka.
“The culture of protest that I endorse must be uncompromisingly peaceful and non-violent. It must be based on selflessness and not aided by ambition or corruption. It must be for the right reasons and procured only by the purest of motives.”


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