HOUSE of Representatives members are poised for a showdown with the presidency after they adopted a motion today calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reinstate the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) director-general Nasir Argungu.
Last week, the House clashed with the executive after requesting that President Buhari appear before the National Assembly to give account of his government’s security plans following the murder of 43 farmers in Borno State. After initially agreeing to appear, President Buhari then did a U-turn under pressure from the members of his cabinet and state governors.
Now, the lawmakers and the presidency look set for another showdown after they adopted a motion under matters of urgent national importance sponsored by Hon Olajide Olatunbosun challenging President Buhari’s latest decision. Their motion focussed on the 774,000 temporary jobs to be created in public works, initiated by the Buhari administration.
In the past, this policy led to a disagreement between the lawmakers and the minister of state for labour, Festus Keyamo during which time Mr Argungu is believed to have sided with the lawmakers. Incensed by his dismissal, the parliamentarians condemned the sack of the director-general whom they described as a man that stood up for the right thing to be done.
Last week, President Buhari sacked Mr Argungu for no apparent reason and the directive was meant to take effect from Monday, December 7. Mr Keyamo was directed to nominate an acting director-general from among the most senior directors based on competencies and seniority to take over until a substantive holder is appointed by the president.
Meanwhile, the senate, the upper chamber of the National Assembly has also urged the president to reconsider and rescind his decision to sack Mr Argungu. President Buhari is yet to respond to both requests.