The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has detailed reasons for the recurring breakdown in law and order across the South-East zone.
Ngige made this call when he spoke at an emergency stakeholders meeting of the Association of Eze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States and Abuja during the weekend.
According to the Minister, propaganda made by some unnamed elite led to several attacks on the five states in the region.
Ngige mused on why repeated attacks happened unchecked if not the propaganda orchestrated by the elite.
He maintained that President Buhari had shown friendship to Ndigbo for six years, adding that the South-East had gotten a fair share of what is due to the zone, especially infrastructure wise.
“There is no maltreatment there. We are in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which is composed of a minister per state.
“But we have one extra ministerial slot. So, the South East is effectively represented to ensure justice is done to our people.
“We are there to talk when there is no justice,” he said.
He further criticised critics who accused President Buhari of lopsided appointments.
Ngige stated that the people should stop talking about it because they don’t know how government works, saying Igbos had enjoyed key positions in the past.
According to him, “People can say that we are not honoured with appointments of Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Army Staff and Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF). These are positions we have enjoyed before in the Nigerian Federation.
”We had two Inspectors-General of Police (IGPs), Ogbonnaya Onovo and Mike Okiro. We had an SGF, Senator Pius Anyim. We had four Senate Presidents. Twice we produced Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker, Ike Ekweremadu and Emeka Ihedioha respectively.
“They were in charge of federal budgets for eight years from 2007 to 2015. That is the rule in the National Assembly.
“So, if you now talk about appointments, it becomes a matter of perception. I won’t blame them. Perception and reality are in the same line.
“A lot of them don’t understand how government works. A lot of them don’t understand that I, as a member of FEC can influence things that will come to my State, my zone or any other area and where we think things should be sited or done in Nigeria.
”For me, those people perceiving that are ignorant. I don’t want to use the word mischievous. But much more importantly, propaganda against the government by the elite in the South-East should stop because it is that propaganda that provoked troubles that we are now noticing.
”People have been brainwashed and the separatists humped on that foundation to now shout from the rooftops that we will give you Biafra and when we give you Biafra, all these things will disappear.
“There is no country that does not have its own problems. We have economic problems here and that is why we have unemployment and of course, we have a youth bulge in our population.
“About 60 per cent of them are youths and a lot of them are unemployed.
“So, the government is devising ways to tackle that. It is a work in progress.”
By Mayowa Oladeji
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Lack of legal provisions, cultural sentiments fueling marital r*pe in Nigeria
By Arinze Chijioke In the early days of Sandra Izuckukwu’s marriage in 2019, her husband, Sunday Izuchukwu, did everything she...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (IV): Surviving in a dangerous media environment
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020. For six...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (III): Precious Owolabi was killed covering a protest
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019-2020. For six months, Nigerian...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (II): Alex Ogbu was telling a story but became the story
This four-part series investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020....
SPECIAL REPORT… TELECOMS BLACKOUT: Nigeria’s latest tactic against banditry grounds businesses, forcing residents beyond borders
The fight against notorious bandits raining terror and kidnapping students in Northwest Nigeria took a new dimension in September as...