By Mathew Dadiya
The outgoing Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has told President Muhammadu Buhari that it is an out of the law of the nation to appoint a Minister of State.
Keyamo expressed this on Wednesday during the valedictory session presided over by President Buhari to mark the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), under the current administration at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of State, who commended the President for enriching his Curriculum Vitae, through the appointment, noted that some other Ministers of State, have been grumbling and unable to be bold and speak out.
He said it would be difficult to assess the individual performances of the Ministers of State since their discretion was shackled under the discretion of the ‘superior Ministers’ as any original ideas developed by a Minister of State are subject to clearance by another colleague in Cabinet before they can sail through for consideration by Council.
His text read: “Mr. President, you first appointed me as Minister of State in the Ministry Niger Delta Affairs in August, 2019 and you later redeployed me as Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“Today, I cannot find the words to express the depth of my gratitude to you for finding me worthy, out of over two hundred million Nigerians, to be nominated and subsequently appointed to serve as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. My curriculum vitae have been greatly enhanced – forever.
“From my very humble beginnings in a small dusty town in Delta State where I was born and raised by my struggling parents, all the way to the Council Chambers at the Presidential Villa where I had the honour and privilege to participate weekly in decision-making for my country in the last four years, it has been like a fairy tale. I give God all the glory.
“What I am about to say, therefore, is not and should not be construed as an indication of ingratitude, far from it, what I am about to say is just my own little contribution to our constitutional development as a relatively young democracy and to aid future governments to optimize the performance of those they appoint as Ministers.
“Mr. President, the concept or designation of “Minister of State” is a constitutional aberration and is practically not working for many so appointed. Successive governments have come and gone and many who were appointed as Ministers of State have not spoken out at a forum such as this because of the risk of sounding ungrateful to the Presidents who appointed them. However, like I said earlier, this is not ingratitude”, he added.