Public office holders in developing democracies such as Nigeria usually say almost everything to secure their daily bread, earn their pay and protect their jobs.
In certain cases, you may understand their desperation, but when a public office holder and member of the federal executive council, the highest decision-making body in the country tries to insult the sensibilities and collective intelligence of ALL Nigerians in the name of politics, then one will have to be concerned about the apparent tilt of our dear nation to the brink of the abyss.
Mr Festus Keyamo, the current minister of state for Labour and employment allowed his emotions take the better of him or the desperation to earn his pay or both when he made two comments recently on insecurity and ASUU strikes.
According to Mr Keyamo, it is only in heaven where there are no issues of insecurity. Mr Keyamo also went gaga when he asked parents of Nigerian University students to beg ASUU to call off its obnoxious and perpetual strikes (emphasis mine). Both comments are arrogant, absurd, mean, careless and clingy. Indeed, Mr Keyamo should resign his appointment as a minister of state for Labour and also as the spokesperson to the Tinubu 2023 Presidential campaign before he becomes a liability to Asiwaju’ s campaign council.
Mr Keyamo’s over-the -top statements amount to insults to Nigerians. These statements are an affront to the collective sensibilities of all Nigerians.
In the current era of heightened and pervasive insecurity, what Nigerians expect from government officials including Mr Keyamo are soothing words and reassurances of the government’s commitment to ending insecurity in the country. The ‘responses’ Mr Keyamo was talking about are not enough. The people want to see the government backing its words with actions.
Nigerians want an end to insecurity. They are tired
They want to see our gallant armed forces and other security agents take the fight to the bandits and terrorists and not wait for the terrorists to attack before they respond. Perhaps Mr Keyamo a lawyer and new era senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) needs to be reminded that section 14(2)(b) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is clear, explicit and unambiguous that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
On his statements regarding ASUU strikes, Mr Keyamo albeit unknowingly, has exposed the government’s apparent poverty of ideas towards fixing the problem.
To say that parents should beg ASUU to call off the strikes amounts to buckpassing and shifting the blame. In fact, Mr Keyamo has unknowingly blackmailed all parents whose children are studying in Nigeria’s public universities. If the government has run out of ideas to fix the ASUU problem, Mr Keyamo should not make it worse by playing games with the parents collective intelligence.
The federal government is bound by law to find a lasting solution to the ASUU imbroglio as long as these universities remain government-controlled. These are not private universities. They are government universities so government has to find ways to fix the problem.
Being a government official doesn’t necessarily mean saying everything that falls on your lips.
It doesn’t mean employing everything including lies to please your masters at the detriment of the generality of Nigerians. A public office holder, paid by the tax-payers who goes to town relishing incomprehensible statements and lies against the people is not worth it. Mr Keyamo needs to be reminded that most times, the more you try to protect your job using unethical methods, the less likely you are to keep it.