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774,000 Jobs: NASS Suspension Of Selection Process Negates Principles Of Separation Of Power – Rights Group

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Senate President, Ahmed Lawan


By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos


The Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), a Non-Governmenal Organization has frowned against the order of the National Assembly suspending the selection process for 774,000 jobs, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity, describing as anti-people.
Condemning the directive in its entirety, the group posited that it is anti-progress, inhumane and a negation of the principle of Separation of Power as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution.
It therefore urged the National Assembly members to adhere to the principle of separation of power.
The group posited that the project is long overdue adding that any attempt to stall it will be tantamount to an attempt to kill the Nigerian people who are already pauperized by the effect of Covid-19.
It emphasised that members of the National Assembly are well oiled by the resources from our common wealth, but want to deprive the people of the little gain from the Federal Government which may keep them alive.

In a statement by its President Wale Ogunade Esq, the right group maintained that the drafters of the 1999 constitution specified clearly the responsibilities of each arm of government, hinting that they confer on the National Assembly powers to oversight activities of the Executive arm of government. 
The organisation asserted that the power did not in any way accord the Legislature power to usurp the function of any of the two arms of government. 
According to the group, the so called “order” issued by NASS suspending the process is tantamount to over-reaching themselves, which is capable of undermining the democratic process. 
Further, it explained that Sections 4, 5 and 6 clearly defines the scope and powers of each of the Arms of Government. 
It maintained that the Legislature can only interrogate actions of the Executive and not order or direct it as to how governance is conducted. 
It stressed that  the action of the lawmakers is a blithering assault on the provisions of Section 33of the 1999 Constitution which guarantees right to life for every Nigerian.  

The statement reads, ” The Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), founded in August 2007, with a mandate to enhance the sustenance of democracy and strengthen democratic structures in Nigeria, as well as promote good governance in Nigeria, among other functions.  
Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI) views the recent “order” by members of the National Assembly directing the suspension of the selection process for 774,000 jobs, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity, as anti-people, anti-progress, inhumane and a negation of the principle of Separation of Power as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The drafters of the 1999 Constitution were clear headed when they confer on the National Assembly powers to oversight activities of the Executive arm of government. However, that power do not in any way accord the Legislature power to usurp the function of any of the two arms of government. 
The so called “order” issued by NASS suspending the process is tantamount to over-reaching themselves which is capable of undermining the democratic process. Sections 4, 5 and 6 clearly defines the scope and powers of each of the Arms of Government. 
The Legislature can only interrogate actions of the Executive and not order or direct the Executive as to how governance is conducted. Their action is a blithering assault on the provisions of Section 33of the 1999 Constitution which guarantees right to life for every Nigerian.  
Although, we do not wish to be drawn into the real motive behind the decision by NASS members to have the programme suspended, we however believe that the Legislators should have otherwise be elated that such initiative, aimed reducing the number of teaming unemployed youths, would enjoy their unparalleled support.
No doubt, the 1999 Constitution in Section 88 gives the National Assembly powers to exercise oversight functions over the act and conduct of the Executive, yet the same Section 88 Subsection 2 provides that this power can only be exercised if there issues of corruption, mismanagement or politics. This project is an Executive project designed to bring life to people rather, member of the NASS to kill it with their unpatriotic and self-centeredness.  
For the avoidance of doubt, the subsection in question reads thus: the powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and Expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it   
From the foregoing therefore, we wish to call on NASS to study the provisions of the Constitution which they swore to abide by and ensure that they do not constitute themselves as meddlesome interlopers in efforts to take the country out of the woods. 
We want to state that members of the National Assembly are well oiled by the Nigerian state but they want deprive the people of the little gain from the Federal Government which may keep them alive. 
This project is long overdue and any attempt to stall it will be tantamount to an attempt to kill the Nigerian people who are already pauperized by the effect of Covid-19″.

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