Recently, the Federal Government embarked in another social investment program through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in which the sum of N52 Billion is set aside for the engagement of youths from the 774 Local Government Areas of the Federation. And the aim of the program is to employ 1000 persons from each Local Government.
Its from the background of the program that the following Dialogue ensued between the State Minister for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) and the National Assembly:
National Assembly: How come that a Federal Government programme expected to gulp N52 Billion is being shrouded in secrecy?
Hon. Minister Keyamo: It is not shrouded in secrecy. Representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), youth groups and market women are all on the selection Committee.
National Assembly: We won’t accept this from you. You should have privately submitted the program to us for vetting before taking certain steps. That would have enabled us have an input on how the programme should be implemented.
Hon. Minister Keyamo: No! Your powers under the constitution do not extend to that. You cannot control the program as to who gets what. That’s the function of the executive arm of government. Anything to the contrary will be tantamount to challenging the executive powers of Mr. President.
National Assembly: You’re always speaking big grammar. Wetin! Okay, come let’s go behind closed doors and conclude the meeting.
Hon. Minister Keyamo: No, sorry! I’m not ready to do anything in secret. You’ve already publicly questioned my actions. Let me also defend myself publicly.
National Assembly: You are disrespecting the authority of the National Assembly. Are you to tell us how to conduct the business of the National Assembly? We insist you come with us to the secret room.
Hon. Minister Keyamo: I’m sorry I won’t go to any closed-door meeting with you. You have already raised some fundamental issues before the media. The media also needs to know how it is addressed. We are in a democracy.
National Assembly: Then you can leave our premises, if you are not ready to discuss in secret with us.
Hon. Minister Keyamo: Why are you asking me to leave? If we are truly fighting corruption, then all our actions should be open to public scrutiny.
National Assembly: What do you know about corruption? Are you to teach us about the war against corruption? Look, if you are not ready to go into a closed-door meeting with us, you can as well pack your things and leave.
Hon. Minister Keyamo: Yes, I’ll rather uphold the provisions of the constitution and leave your premises, than have a secret collusion with you. Goodbye.
National Assembly: Really? You think you’re smart, right? Okay, we shall see!
Hahaha! My people how una see this one? You castigate a man in public and the man wants to defend himself. But you suddenly say, no! His defense must be in secret. If you wanted a secret deal with him, why did you have to first impugn his capacity and integrity in public? Haba!
From anonymous source.