Olanireti Olusegun 

I watched the video clip of the supposed interrogation of Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, before the Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives, to explain his roles in the suspension of top management and executive committee members of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). But it was disheartening that the minister rather attempted to use the opportunity to score irrelevant political points.

I used to see Ngige as a noble and honourable man before he became a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His struggle and eventual triumph in retaining his Governorship position against the agenda of Chris Uba and the Abuja factor between 2003 and 2006 rated him high in my sight.

Although, I have not been too impressed by the way he handles labour matters, but I refused to judge, and still, I won’t. At some point, I opined that the Labour ministry was just not his thing, because of the complexity and usual complications attached to that office.

His appearance before the House Adhoc Committee was peculiar and should have been used to shine light on all Grey areas, chikena. But in his “wisdom” which has generated more attention than the main issue before the committee, Ngige opted to use the medium for political vendetta.

He presented himself as a Marlian, as a matter of fact, I’m quite sure that Azeez Fashola (Naira Marley) who happened to be the Marlian President will attend to the issue and not derail just like Ngige, if he was in his shoes.

He committed more blunder when he dragged the former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu into the matter that could have been addressed without insulting or ridiculing anybody.

I’m not holding a brief for Tinubu, but I think I should state clearly that Ngige failed to do a complete comparison and contrast about himself and his target.

Asiwaju has been a governor before Ngige. He was elected 1999 and served two terms of eight years at a stretch (1999-2007). Ngige was elected in 2003 in a controversial manner but lasted just three years in office as he was finally sacked by the Appeal Court.


There was a purported resignation letter to the Anambra State of Assembly from Ngige, which was accepted, though he later conquered but that revealed so much about the way he emerged, also revealed that he wasn’t in charge. Was that the case with Tinubu? Obvious no.

Tinubu was a Senator during the military junta, under the Late General Sanni Abacha administration, Ngige became a Senator under the civilian rule in 2019, after two failed attempts to return to the Anambra Government House. And he was again defeated when he sought a second term in the Red Chambers, by Hon. Mrs Uche Ekwunife, who was sworn in as the Senator Representing Anambra Central Senatorial District. But Tinubu has never tried to fail.

Ngige was accused of appearing before the Okija shrine naked at some point during the heat of political polity. But I don’t think Asiwaju has gotten such negative fetish coverage hitherto.

Tinubu has built and is still building “Grade A” leaders across all the regions, we need not enumerate. He has sacrificed like no other, ranging from political office, financial resources, time and compromise.

Who said leadership is all about age? Who said Ngige and Tinubu are equal? Those deceiving the labour minister should better advise him to stop fooling himself. And if they are fooling him, he better receive wisdom now. The fact that he’s even blowing his undue trumpet is an indication that he is feeling inferior and there’s more in him about the national leader than what he spitted.

Ngige, you’ve ignited the fire, I bet you, they will come for you, better be prepared.

I’m however disappointed in James Abiodun Faleke, who appeared wasn’t prepared for such a game as he lacked a befitting response. He really needs to step up his political game or wasn’t properly schooled.

And I think the words of President Muhammadu Buhari cautioning political appointees not to disrespect the lawmakers holds no water, because, so far, you and I are seeing the obvious. It is either PMB does not mean it and his appointees are aware of this or the leadership of the National Assembly is just too weak and unworthy of it.


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