Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige

By Victor Ernest

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige says he is practicing what the late leader of Ndigbo, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, taught the Igbos.

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The minister made this known after he was criticised by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) for saying that the Igbos should not put all their eggs in one basket.

In the statement issued on Sunday by his media aide, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, Ngige urged leadership of MASSOB to show ”little respect to the elders who have immensely contributed and continue to contribute to the well-being of the South-East region.”

Consummate Igbo leader

The minister described himself as a consummate Igbo leader who would never disparage the Igbo or work against their interest.

He said his previous statement which the group condemned was only meant to advise the Igbos to rise above ”the prevailing self-pity, awaken the resilient spirit for which Igbos are known and quickly re-strategise as other geo-political zones in the country are currently doing.”

”I wish to put on record that my position is exactly the same position our late leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu took in 1982 when he left the Igbo dominated NPP to join the NPN,” he added.

Opportunities for Igbo

Ngige reminded the group of how he did not only protect them from undue harassment by security agencies, but sent them food from the state treasury and employed its members in the formidable Anambra Vigilante Service when he was Governor of Anambra state..

He said he did that then to give stability to the security architecture of the state. ”The founder of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike is alive and can testify to this,” he said.

”I wish to further add that there is enough opportunity for the Igbos to make up whatever perceived loss it currently encounters, but our leaders need to shun the creeping political narrowness and play politics more astutely.

”What matters most is not how big the positions we occupy are, rather, what we are able to achieve for the Igbo with what we occupy,” Ngige added.