- Senator Ifeanyi Ubah says Festus Keyamo displayed rascality when he appeared before the National Assembly recently
- Keyamo, Nigeria's minister of state for labour and employment and lawmakers had a shouting match recently
- The minister refused the lawmakers demand that the meeting should be held behind closed doors
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Senator Ifeanyi Ubah has described the hot exchange of words between the minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo with lawmakers at the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 30 as a display of rascality by the minister.
The senator who addressed journalists on Wednesday, July 1 on the issue, said “such rascality should not be condoned.”
Videos from the encounter went viral on social media as the lawmakers and Keyamo had a shouting match over the recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians.
Senator Ubah and his aides arriving for the briefing at the Senate press corps hall. Photo credit: Haruna Salami
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The job creation exercise was for the federal government's public works programme under the National Directorate of Employment.
The joint committee of the National Assembly on labour had invited Keyamo to find out the method of selection of a 20-man committee from each state for the programme.
Senator Ubah, who represents Anambra South senatorial district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, condemned the action of the minister, saying “the duty of the legislature is to checkmate the executive in a democratic government.”
He said “appointees of the president should understand that the Senate has oversight function over their ministry,” adding “Keyamo is not even a substantive minister.”
The issue became a trending topic on social media as the video amassed shares.
Hillary Dandy wrote on Twitter: I stand with Festus Keyamo. Enough is enough. This is exactly how they have been hijacking employments. Police, Army, custom, Navy, Even Npower. Most greedy set of people I have ever seen.
Tochi Pius wrote: I have never liked Festus Keyamo but just this single act is worth an accolade. Our selfish senators will eat their share and still want to eat the little one meant for we citizens...our senators got nothing to offer.
Fisayo Soyombo wrote: Nigerian lawmakers have NEVER walked any labour minister out of a hearing because millions of Nigerians are unemployed.
But they walked Keyamo out today for "refusing to apologise" after a heated exchange over the control of 774,000 jobs worth N20,000/month.
Valiant Samson Idowu-Alaba wrote: The National Assembly has been bullying ministers who have always caved in but in the ebullient Festus Keyamo who is a SAN, the members of the Nigerian Senate and House of Reps labour committees have met their match!
Morris Monye wrote: I actually support Keyamo's stance. All these secret "ogboni" meetings behind closed doors should stop. Let Nigerians know what is going on in the recruitment saga of the 774,000 Nigerians.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to suspend the exercise.
The call was made on Wednesday, June 1, by the Senate and the House of Representatives in a joint statement.
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