No one can gag the operations of NGOs – Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said the National Assembly cannot be intimidated into abandoning its duty of providing a platform for Nigerians to agree or disagree on any proposed legislative measure.

Highlights:

  • Yakubu said this on Tuesday in his remarks at the resumption of plenary after a seven-week recess.
  • He was reacting to the controversy surrounding the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Bill, where he said that transparency was what promoted and therefore, should welcome the opportunity to interrogate the issues with open arms.

[Read Also: Why you must fight the dangerous NGO bill]

  • No one can nor indeed, should gag the operations of NGOs in Nigeria.
  • But, just as they aspire for this freedom, it must be stated that freedom does not come without responsibility as there is no such thing as freedom to be irresponsible.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, let me state once again that churches, mosques, Esusu, market women associations as well as local quasi-financial institutions are “not NGOs’’ and thus, the bill has nothing to do with their operations.
  • Public criticism of the content of the Bill is a welcome development and there are many who are doing just that.
  • I hasten to say that all Nigerians and other corporate persons, including non-Nigerians, are stakeholders and have a right to support or oppose a Bill.
  • However, when opinions are targeted at disparaging the institution of the legislature, then it becomes imperative to interrogate the motives driving such, especially when this emanates from those who should know.

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