The Urhobo Political Movement (UPM) has commended the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Olorogun Festus Keyamo, for standing with the masses at a time “they have suffered untold hardship, oppression and deprivation in the hands of those who hold their collective mandate”.
The group commended Keyamo in a communiqué issued and signed by the National Chairman, Chief Obiuwevbi Ominimini, and National Secretary, Barr. David Ekuetafia, at the end of an emergency meeting last night.
The communique condemned the ‘ill treatment meted” to Keyamo at the National Assembly and urged the federal legislators to put their individual interests aside and join hands with him to serve the masses better.
The communiqué read: “UPM has watched with concern the events unfolding between the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Olorogun Festus Keyamo SAN and the Joint Committee on Labour and Employment of the National Assembly over the recruitment of 774,000 public workers that are hitherto expected to cushion the effects of unemployment amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While we express reservation over the avoidable skirmishes that ensued on the invitation of the Hon. Minister, we make bold to condemn the ill treatment meted on the Minister who promptly honoured their invitation. We at UPM find it unintelligible the request of the Joint Committee of the National Assembly for a meeting that will decide the fate of the masses to be held in camera mid-way on.
“The Leadership of the Committee disappointed Nigerians over the poor way they handled the issue. The shouting match by the committee members while the Minister was humbly calm leaves much to be desired.
“UPM applauds the courage, zeal and boldness of the Hon. Minister for standing with the masses at a time they have suffered untold hardship, oppression and deprivation in the hands of those who hold their collective mandate.
“In a country that is projected to have over 33% of unemployment rate by the end of 2020, we cannot watch and see how a programme that is meant to break the resilience of unemployment being broken down because of self-serving agenda.
“We at Urhobo Political Movement seriously frown at these needless arguments about what is and what not among the political class. While we admit that the National Assembly has an oversight power over the actions of the executive, such power should not be exercised with disrespect for the power of the Executive.
“Accordingly, it beats us hollow at UPM that the National Assembly announced the suspension of the programme in a most provoking and ignoble way, immediately after the incident; a power the National Assembly does not have under the 1999 Constitution. Their overbearing attitude marks an infraction of the principles of separation of power.
“The Urhobo Political Movement urges the National Assembly to put their individual interests aside and join hands with the Hon. Minister to serve the masses better.
“Accusations and counter accusations that will not benefit ordinary Nigerians are needless at a time such as this. We encourage a more cordial working synergy between the Executive and the Legislature on issues that are beneficial to the suffering Nigerian masses”.
The group expressed confidence in the Minister’s capacity to deliver on the job, and called for support for the Minister.
“The Urhobo Political Movement wishes to appeal to Nigerians not to lose hope because of the current impasse. We strongly believe on the ability of the Hon. Minister to deliver on his mandate. We also urge the leadership of the National Assembly to put Nigeria first in the discharge of their duties.”