By Victor Young
The Middle Belt Emancipation Movement, MEM, has described as biased and sentimental statement credited to the former Commissioner for Information in Kogi State, Tom Ohikere on the disagreement between the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, James Faleke.
MEM in a statement, on Sunday by its President and Secretary and Alhaji Mohammed Yunusa, Dominic Tshon, respectively, contended that Faleke deserved what he got from the Minister of Labour.
MEM insisted that any assessment which “ignores the premeditated actions of Faleke who threw parliamentary decorum overboard in order to embarrass and ridicule the Minister should be treated as hogwash.
“If the public hearing was to ascertain the extent the Minister adhered to due process in the suspension of the top executive and management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, Nigerians deserve an explanation on the reason Faleke deviated to issues that do not even remotely connect to the subject of the hearing.
“How does the percentage of votes the APC scored in Ngige’s local government in 2019 general elections connect to the suspension of the top management of the NSITF over alleged corruption that runs into billions of Naira?
“Does Faleke need to interrogate the right as well as the choice of Ngige as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the President if not to ridicule the former senator?
“Shouldn’t Faleke concentrate on how the Minister discharges his responsibilities instead of exploiting the occasion to throw snide shots? Was that part of the legislative investigation on the breach of presidential directives to ministers?
“The questions were clearly off the mark, provocative and silly and therefore deserved the response given by the Minister.
“We make bold to state that Senator Ngige has credibly discharged the core mandate of the Ministry which is to promote productive employment policies and programmes for employment generation as well as maintain stable industrial milieu.
“His job-rich approach to labour administration halted the gale of retrenchments the Buhari administration met in 2015/2016 and ensured that no federal civil servant lost his job even while Nigeria passed through the recession.
“His top-notch international labour diplomacy also restored Nigeria to the Governing Board of the International Labour Organisation, ILO, which Nigeria currently chairs, bringing immense institutional benefits to our world of work.
“We do not intend to log into that laughable comparison Ohikere drew between Senator Ngige and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu because Ngige did not intend that. He only demanded respect such that Faleke would accord Asiwaju as an elder and leader in Lagos.”