Reps no confidence vote on me, minister of state draconian- Fayemi

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has deplored the vote of no confidence passed on him and the Minister of State in the ministry, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, by the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The lawmakers had passed a vote of no confidence on Fayemi and Bwari following the non-appearance of the two ministers at the sectoral debate on the revival of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company held earlier on Thursday.

They had described the ministers’ non-appearance as a contempt of the House.

But Fayemi, who described the action of the lawmakers as “draconian,” said that the House was earlier adequately notified of his inability and that of his minister of state to attend the debate in two separate letters sent to the legislators.

The minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Olayinka Oyebode, therefore, said that the lawmakers’ action against him and Bawa was “rather unfair,” adding that there was more to it than meets the eye.

Fayemi’s statement reads: “The attention of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has been drawn to the “Vote of No Confidence” reportedly passed on them by members of the House of Representatives following their inability to attend the House’s Sectoral Debate on Iron and Steel Sector on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

“While the offices of the two ministers have been inundated with countless media enquiries regarding their absence shortly after the pronouncement, it is important to state unequivocally that the inability of the two ministers to attend the debate was duly communicated to the leadership of the House in two separate letters.

“One then wonders why the House members took such a draconian stance against the two Ministers who have very cordial relationships with the National Assembly.

“It is rather unfair for the House members to categorise the Ministers absence as “boycott”, when they were adequately notified.

“Tolerance and moderation are essential ingredients in public service engagement. In this particular case, they appear to be in short supply and the ministry believes that there is more than meets the eye on this matter.

“After all, the Ministers are always willing to engage the honourable House and its leadership at all times. It is on record that Minister Fayemi was the first Minister to address the sectoral debate in 2016 and the Ajaokuta Steel Complex was extensively addressed on that occasion.

“Subsequently, the House Committees on Privatisation and Public Petitions held special sessions on Ajaokuta and the Minister of State, Hon Bawa Bwari addressed the members on those two occasions.

“Given this past record, today’s action is most unwarranted and unfortunate.”