The member representing Akoko South East/South West Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Adejoro Adeogun has dismissed the recent comments of Minister of State, Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN) over the 774,000 Federal Government jobs saga, describing his actions as playing to the gallery with his ‘populist wannabe strategy’.

Hon. Adeogun’s position, which was sourced from his comments on a verified social media platform, also accused the Junior Labour Minister of attempting to usurp the powers of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE and advised him to stop disparaging the National assembly and allow his senior Minister to handle the matter.

Hon. Adeogun wrote thus:

Permit my intervention to set some records straight.

The program that is the object of your post was part of the 2020 appropriation Act. In the Act, it was designed as a project under the National Directorate of Employment and not ministry of Labor.

The implication is that it is the responsibility of NDE to execute this program and not the Minister of State for Labor

Keyamo said he got a Presidential approval to supervise the NDE. Supervision is not the same as ceding of functions. In any case, the President does not have the power to amend the appropriation Act. If he desires an alteration he will have to request NASS to do so.

Let us assume that Mr. Keyamo means well and loves poor Nigerians. In showing his love, he should not have soiled his hands by turning himself into the Sole Administrator ofNDE.

This program requires the spending of funds and all spendings are regarded as procurements. Why is the Minister ofState for Labor carrying out procurement on behalf of NDE? Can the Minister of State for Niger Delta carry out procurement on behalf of NDDC without consulting the MD of NDDC? Can the Minister of State for Education carry out procurement on behalf of any of the parastatals under his supervision?

Yet, Mr. Keyamo so loved poor Nigerians that he could not follow due process in showing his love. Would the love have been less if he allowed NDE to drive this procurement? Would the love have been reduced if he sought the input of the Minister ofLabor who is his senior colleague in the same ministry?

The issue at Stake is beyond the media hype and populist wannabe strategy of Mr. Keyamo. As an avid reader of William Shakespeare I understand how easy it is to manipulate plebeians. Mr. Keyamo is good at it. He may temporarily win the ongoing media war but it would be a Pyrrhic victory.

I noticed how easy we find it in Nigeria to condemn the legislative arm of government. Perhaps because we are yet to be weaned of military rule which had only two arms. We are yet to understand that the legislative arm has supervisory power over the spendings of the executive. The reason we have three arms of government is for checks and balances. Perhaps if we understand that in the eyes of the constitution of Nigeria, it is the legislature that can curtail the excesses of the executive, the need to run down our legislature will reduce.

Are you unaware that Nigerians at the grass root do not differentiate between the executive and the legislature? They expect dividends of democracy in all forms possible. Let me use myself as an example.

I receive requests from constituents for building of roads, provision of water and electricity infrastructure, educational scholarships, skills trainings and start up kits, funds for small business owners, job opportunities and much more. I am expected to make provisions for birth, chieftaincy, medical, funeral and other sundry expenses as demanded on a daily basis. Every unemployed youth in my constituency has my phone number and expects that I should make getting jobs easier. If I am unable to help a job seeking constituent get a job during recruitment by any parastatal, the report would be that I have failed. I am in a nutshell a one man government who is expected to do all things. I can assure you that most members of NASS face similar pressure.

Let us not forget that almost 2/3 of members of the 9th Assembly are members of the ruling party. Again using myself as an example I contributed to the re-election of President Buhari in 2019 like most of the top members of the executive. Most of the people who voted for APC during the February 23. 2019 elections in my constituency did so because of the NASS candidate of the party who are their sons, kinsmen and leaders. PMB was a beneficiary of the confidence my people have in me.

The people of my area pressed all three ballots given on 23rd of February 2019 for their sons who they can meet when in need. So they expect that these sons whom they voted for should fight to ‘bring home’ the good thing being shared in Abuja. Why do you then condemn those who are striving to meet the demands of their electors?

So if NASS asks for slots in this politically designed program, it is not out of place as the slots would be given to ordinary Nigerians in their constituents. You know very well that any legislator who is unable to influence these minor palliatives would be deemed to have failed. Even you would castigate your Reps for being a ‘do nothing legislator’.

So Mr. Keyamo should stop playing to the gallery. He should not disparage an institution that he has aspired twice to join. It’s not enough to be ‘Twitter happy’. He is expected to display maturity and emotional intelligence as a man found worthy to be a Minister in this Federal Republic. He has clearly shown deficiency in the emotional side of his intelligence. He needs to know that the word ‘lobby’ was made part of the legislative process for a reason.

Even in the private sector, networking is encouraged to make business process smoother. Lobbying and networking requires charisma and good nature and may not necessarily entail the exchange of any material things. So let him learn to lobby rather than displaying rascality in the public domain.

Those who are his friends should know that on this issue he is in the wrong. He stepped out of order the moment he usurped the power of NDE. At this point in time he should lie low and let Ngige swallow the bullet on his behalf. He is walking alone.

Rt. Hon. Adejoro Adeogun is the member representing Akoko South East/South West Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives.

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