About N300 million raised from the biography of the immediate past speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has been spent on internally displaced persons (IDPs), widows, orphans and indigent students.
The expenditure was made public by Dogara in Abuja during the President’s Inter-Secondary Schools debate, where he said the money was realised in December 2017 during his 50th birthday anniversary.
Dogara said, “At my 50th birthday event, I promised that all funds generated from my biography launch will go to charity. I am happy to report that I have kept my word. About N300 million of my biography proceeds have been invested in education and provision of palliatives to internally displaced persons, orphans and the vulnerable.”
A press statement signed by Turaki Hassan, Dogara’s media aide and made available to journalists in Bauchi, yesterday, said out of Dogara’s magnanimity, a number of students are now studying abroad, while thousands are pursuing education in various Nigerian tertiary institutions, most of them from indigent families who cannot afford the cost of educating their wards at any level.
It added, “We have sent interventions to so many IDPs camps across the North East and we are still trudging ahead with God’s help. Education is everything. Without education, no nation can move forward”.
Dogara therefore stressed the need to raise leaders who can think in prose and speak in poetry, adding that debate forums are the most consummate platforms for raising such leaders, saying “Equipping our youth with debate skills is the beginning of our journey to a healthy and advanced democracy”.
“As a student of democracy let me shock us a little. Contrary to what we have heard from the debaters about the failure of our democracy, I dare say that democracies don’t die because they don’t work and they also don’t fail, it is only the citizens of democracies like you and I that make democracies work,” he said.
According to him, democracy can only die if Nigerians fail to employ the tools of democracy to advance themselves and the nation, and therefore called on Nigerians to be alive to their responsibilities as citizens, pointing out that the political space is wide enough to accommodate all.
“I agree with the debaters that our democracy is in peril on account of insecurity, corruption, poverty and myriads of developmental challenges which we are still grappling with. But I must say that as serious as the above identified challenges are; none of them or all of them is/are enough to destroy the promise of Nigeria or the destiny of our great nation,” he added.