Keyamo accuses PDP of recruiting thugs

BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Mr Festus Keyamo on Tuesday vowed that he would rather leave his assignment, if Mr. President so directs than compromise the jobs meant for ordinary Nigerians, who have no Godfathers or who are not affiliated to any political party.

Keyamo, who mad the vow in a statement while reacting to the altercation he had with members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour, declared that all his life, he fought for good governance and constitutional democracy thus would not come into government and be intimidated to abandon those principles.

This is as he also declared that the powers of the Senate and House of Representatives under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but not to give directive to the Executive arm of government.

Keyamo also said that a Committee or Committees of both Houses of the National Assembly do not even have the powers to pass binding Resolutions but can only make recommendations to Plenary, adding that even the Plenary cannot give directives to the Executive.

Keyamo while reacting to the alleged altercation between him and members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour, in which he was asked to leave the meeting, therefore directed all the Committees set up nationwide made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, CSOS, Youth Organisations, respected traditional rulers, etc to proceed with their work unhindered, stressing that only the President can stop their work.

Keyamo further said; “Today, in obedience to their invitation, I appeared before the Joint Committees on Labour of both the Senate and the House. The Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members sought to be briefed on the implementation of the Special Public Works Programme so far.

“However, there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented.

“In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

However, I insisted that I could not surrender the programme to their control since their powers under the constitution does not extend to that. They insisted on a closed door session.

“At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme.

“I was then asked to apologize for insisting on a public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about, because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private.

“As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution.

“I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.

“After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees.

“My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr. President,” Keyamo insist.

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