A socio-political group, Umuigbo Progressive Network has urged the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige to be mindful of his utterances so as not to be misconstrued by the citizens.
This is coming on the heels of his comments on the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The group with core objective to pursue the political interest of the Igbo race in an apology statement to the National Leader signed by its National Coordinator, Barrister Oscar Obi, said that Senator Ngige should have responded to the questions and issues raised by the House of Representative’s Panel and not digress to the extent of him submerging the name and person of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, whom the group maintained is a recognized political leader in Nigeria and there is practically none or very few like him in the nation’s political landscape.
Recall that Ngige, at an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives to discuss the suspension of the management of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), traded words with a member of the Committee, Hon. James Faleke.
Mr Ngige, while throwing a jab at Faleke, said he is in the same age bracket as Senator Tinubu, “So you are near my age, at least I am seven years older than you. I’m the same age with your mentor in Lagos, Asiwaju. And I was governor with him at the same time. He was a senator, I was a senator. I am a two-time minister, he isn’t a two-time minister.”
The group, in a swift response chided Ngige for his comments on Asiwaju Tinubu, saying whatever it is Hon. James Falake said or did, “he represents the House of Representatives at that very material time.”
“Senator Ngige is one of the leaders of the APC in the South-East. If he felt there was a need to launch an attack, it should be directed at the questions and issues and not against personality. The Committee is a representative of Nigerians and not an individual,” the group said.
The group stressed that nothing in Ngige’s expected response to the issues raised by the ad-hoc Committee of the House had warranted the mentioning of Tinubu’s name.
“Senator Ngige should before comparing himself with Asiwaju remember that it was the same former Lagos Governor he ran to several times to breathe life into his already dead political career. Both were Senators but the republic they both served is different.
“And talking about achievements, the story of today’s economic and infrastructural transformation of Lagos State cannot be told without the Asiwaju. He is the one that laid the foundation of what we are seeing today in Lagos State.
“Asiwaju choose not to be a Minister because he believes in investing in human and giving them room to grow unlike Ngige who takes everything that comes to Anambra to himself. Today we can point at Asiwaju’s mentee serving in high capacity but how many people have Ngige mentored in the entire Igbo land?”
The National Coordinator appealed to Senator Ngige to watch his utterances, considering his status in the society.
The group further condemned the incessant attack on the Legislative arm of government by the Executive saying its one too many.
“Occasions like this should remind us that the National Assembly is a sovereign representation of the Nigerian people and have the constitutional duty to conduct oversight on the activities of the Executive branch of government. The sordid acts of some members of the Executive to disparage the entire lawmaking arm of the country should be widely condemned by all.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to caution his Ministers and appointees against further provoking the legislators. This 9th Assembly is one that has shown cordial and harmonious relationship with the Executive and utterances like that of Ngige could impede the Next Level agenda of President Buhari,” the statement read.
On the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) probe, the group said “We wish to remind Mr President that all Nigerians are watching with keen interest and await the outcome of the probe. He should ensure that any indicted person(s) face the full wrath of Law and the monies returned. The people of the Niger Delta deserve better.”
Touching on Security, the group condemned the incessant killings of Nigerians on daily basis and urged President Buhari to “sack the Service Chiefs as a matter of urgency and save what remains of the morales of our young soldiers.”