OrderPaperToday – Drama ensued on Tuesday at the National Assembly between federal lawmakers and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, who was eventually walked out of a meeting.
Members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Labour and Productivity had invited Mr. Keyamo to an interactive session to elaborate on the special public works programme of the federal government.
The programme is expected to have 774,000 people recruited by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) as a palliative to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 on the masses.
The lawmakers had asked the Director-General (DG) of NDE, Nasiru Ladan, of the method of selection of a 20-man committee from each state recently inaugurated to implement the programme.
While giving explanation, Ladan said he only knew eight members of the committee and referred the legislators to Keyamo for further clarification. The lawmakers remarked that the DG did not give a satisfactory response and persisted on the query over modalities for implementing the programme.
When confronted continually by the lawmakers, Keyamo snapped and accused the lawmakers of trying to hijack the programme from the NDE. There was a heated exchange that followed.
As the session became more intense, the federal lawmakers asked that they embark on a closed-door session but Mr. Keyamo demurred and insisted that the event be continued in the open.
“How can you expose corruption without the cameras? How can: how can you expose it? I must respond to what he said. You cannot say something and I won’t respond. It is wrong”, he queried the lawmakers.
Infuriated, the federal lawmakers asked the minister to apologize for his behavior but the latter refused and was thereafter told to leave the venue.
“Go go, get out. Where is the sergeant-at-arms to walk him. Go go, get out. Where is the sergeant-at-arms to walk him,” they fumed.