Labor and Employment Minister Dr. Chris Ngige has rebuked former President Olusegun Obasanjo for criticizing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), in his New Year letter to Nigerians.
The former Anambra state governor said the four main presidential candidates have the requisite and related experience to manage the country’s affairs, and he will not campaign for or against any of them.
Ngige, speaking to reporters in his hometown of Alor, Anambra State’s Idemili South local government area, on Wednesday, named the presidential candidates as Alhaji Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the Congress of All Progressives, Mr. Peter Obi of the Labor Party and Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party.
The minister also distributed some bounty to the destitute, widows and elders of the community.
Ngige told the crowd gathered in the Pavilion of the Church of Santa Maria in Alor that the Federal Government was aware of the situation and had requested that the ministers return home to help their people since September.
He stated that the current administration should not be blamed for the country’s food and energy crises because they are happening all over the world, not just Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Ngige criticized Obasanjo’s claims that Nigeria has fallen far behind from where it was at the start of his presidency in 1999.
He recalled that when he was serving as governor of the state of Anambra, the same Obasanjo, then president, said that he was going to build the Second Bridge of the Niger but did not do so due to lack of commitment.
He said: “I was the one who brought Buhari to the southeast in 2015. As the zonal coordinator for the southeast, I told the general that the bridge is essential for our people and the entire south, all the way to North Central. The General asked if we could do it, and I said, ‘Why not?’ The same question he asked at the completion of the Ziks mausoleum, and he told me that if God made him president, he would build the bridge and complete the abandoned mausoleum for our people.
“I was the one who highlighted in our South East campaign the renovation and redevelopment of the Second Niger Bridge, the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway and the Enugu Airport, for which the Federal Government gave the Minister of Aviation, N10bn, the authority to execute the modernization. such as critical infrastructure projects that the area needs. Today, the runway has been reconstructed and the runway has been extended from one to three kilometers with modern night lighting systems and navigational aids and various other projects.
“So President Buhari should be praised, but he will be told that people are starving. Hunger is a global problem. If you go to the news, you will see white people protesting against hunger and the high cost of living in Europe and elsewhere.
Ngige warned that Buhari should be left alone and not blamed for everything that went wrong “under the sun”.
Hitting the former president, Obasanjo, Ngige questioned what poverty alleviation measures he implemented while he ruled for eight years.
He continued: “Ignore the politicians who will come and tell you that the Buhari administration inflicted hardship and poverty on you. One of them wrote a letter the other day, the usual national letter writer. It’s easy to criticize.”