By Chioma Gabriel & Victor Young
The media directorate of Anambra billionaire industrialist, Prince Arthur Eze has released a statement slamming the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige as an ‘accidental’ minister.
The statement, a response to the call by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige for the further banishment of the suspended 12 Anambra traditional rulers and their sponsor.
The crisis began with the visit of 12 monarchs from Anambra State to Aso Villa to meet with President Buhari, at the instance of the billionaire businessman Prince Arthur Eze. The traditional rulers who embarked on the trip to Abuja, to thank President Buhari for his developmental strides in the Southeast, did so without approval from the Anambra State government.
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The monarchs after failing to meet with President Buhari, returned to Anambra only to be hit with suspension by the state governor, Dr Willie Obiano for failure to seek approval for the Abuja trip
The statement described the emergence of Dr Ngige as Minister of Labour and Productivity as an accident of history.
The statement reads: “We would have treated his ranting as the ranting of an ant who by all social and political equation is an inconsequential product of history. “We are however tempted to add a voice in view of his undeserved portfolio as a minister in a government that has been acclaimed as the best in Nigeria’s history under the able leadership of our most beloved President Muhammadu Buhari.
“One would have thought that anybody occupying such a respectable office like Ngige should be a person with a sound mind, articulate, well educated and with a broad knowledge of contemporary issues in the country’s orbit of partisan politics. “One wonders how a minister and a former governor can wake up from slumber overnight and start calling on a state governor to banish traditional rulers whose only offence is that they took a trip to Abuja to commend his boss, the president, for the magnificent jobs he is doing for the people of their geo-political zone.”
The statement further read: “Dr Ngige as a minister did not take time to study the underground colourations given to the trip for political reasons by the state govt. “Accepted is the fact that he has been involved in a serious traditional leadership crisis in his community over the Igweship but this should not becloud his sense of judgment to make calls that has no legal or constitutional backing.
“As a minister, Dr Ngige ought to know that no section of the Nigerian constitution empowers a state governor to banish or trample on the fundamental human right of any Nigerian citizen as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. “Any governor that attempts to heed to Dr Ngige’s call certainly should be taking an action that is against the letters and spirit of the Nigerian constitution.
“It is now clear that the compulsory etiquettes induction course usually organised for appointed ministers was initiated for appointees that fall within the rugged class of Dr Ngige.”
The statement said that for Dr Ngige to call for the banishment of a man of Prince Engr Arthur Eze’s stature not only in Nigeria but the entire world is, to say the least, most irresponsible, callous, derogatory and unbecoming of an accidental minister. “It should be recalled that if not for Arthur Eze’s benevolence, Dr Ngige would not have been able to pack out of his former two-bedroom slump apartment in Festac village some years ago to a decent apartment in Lagos.
Mention must also be made of how Arthur Eze helped to change his Volkswagen car which he uses in Enugu and is today resident for rats and cockroaches at Ogui Road, Enugu. “Let us warn that if Chris Ngige makes any further unpleasant statement against our principal, we shall be left with no option than to publish some facts and materials at our disposal which will shock Nigerians on the person and individual known as the labour minister.
“Arthur Eze’s personality is a profile of world recognition on grounds of philanthropy, industrialization, business acumen, economic vibrancy and political sagacity. “I have instructed my Media Directorate not to further reply or dignify the tirades of Dr Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s most unfortunate and accidental minister with a response for I should not expect respect from he who once dragged his biological father to court.
I think his irresponsible behaviour both to the National Assembly, his Alor community and the public as a minister is genetic as he also lacks social comportment and public decorum”