…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has come forward to defend his previous statement that the appointment of Ministers of State is both an aberration and unconstitutional.
During the valedictory session marking the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House in Abuja, Keyamo expressed his belief that the appointment of Ministers of State is illegal.
Keyamo’s Criticism of Redundancy and Lack of Independence
Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, voiced his concern that many of his colleagues had been redundant over the past eight years.
He further noted that Ministers of State have not had the courage to speak up about this issue.
He highlighted the difficulty in assessing the individual performances of Ministers of State, as their discretion is often constrained under the authority of senior ministers.
Keyamo criticized the fact that original ideas proposed by a Minister of State must often receive clearance from another colleague in the Cabinet before being considered by the Council.
Backlash and Accusations of Hypocrisy
Following Keyamo’s remarks, Nigerians took to Twitter to accuse him of hypocrisy, alleging that he had collected allowances and salaries from the same office that he claimed was illegal.
They argued that Keyamo, as an accomplice to this supposed illegality, should refund all salaries and emoluments received during his tenure.
Keyamo’s Response to Critics
Responding to the criticisms on Twitter, Festus Keyamo defended himself by stating that his critics were struggling to differentiate between ‘appointment’ and ‘designation.’
He shared a tweet with a photo of himself sipping tea at the Council Chambers after the valedictory FEC meeting.
In a lighthearted tone, Keyamo questioned whether he should also return the cup of tea if his critics believed he needed to return everything associated with his position.