Buhari not responsible for hunger, poverty in Nigeria - Ngige


 The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo for criticising the President Muhammadu Buhari, in his New Year letter to Nigerians.

The former Anambra State governor said the four major contenders for the presidency have the requisite and cognate experience to manage the affairs of the country, and he will not campaign for or against any of them.

Ngige, who spoke to journalists in his hometown of Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, on Wednesday, named the presidential candidates as Alhaji Abubakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party.

The minister also distributed some largesse to the indigents, widows, and elderly in the community.

Ngige told the massive crowd gathered at the St. Mary’s Church Pavilion in Alor that the Federal Government was aware of the situation and had requested that ministers return home to assist their people since September.

He claimed that the current administration should not be blamed for the country’s food and energy crises because they are occurring all over the world, not just in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Ngige faulted Obasanjo’s claims that Nigeria has fallen far behind where it was at the start of his presidency in 1999.

He recalled that while serving as the governor of Anambra State, the same Obasanjo, who was then President, said he was going to construct the Second Niger Bridge but failed to do so, owing to a lack of commitment.

He said, “I was the one who brought Buhari to the South East in 2015. As the South East Zonal Coordinator, I told the General that the bridge is critical to our people and the entire South, all the way up to North Central. The General asked if we could do it, and I said, ‘Why not?.’ The same question he asked at the Ziks Mausoleum completion, and he told me that if God made him president, he would construct the bridge and complete the abandoned mausoleum for our people.

“I was the one who brought to the fore in our South East campaign the Second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, and Enugu Airport renovation and remodelling, for which the Federal Government gave the Minister of Aviation, N10bn, the authority to execute the upgrade as critical infrastructural projects needed by the zone. Today, the tarmac was reconstructed and the runway expanded from one to three kilometres with modern night lighting systems and navigational aids and several other projects.

“So, President Buhari ought to be praised, but they will tell you that people are dying of hunger. 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 be blamed for everything that has gone awry “under the sun.”

Taking a swipe at the former president, Obasanjo, Ngige questioned what poverty alleviation measures he put in place while he ruled for eight years.

He continued, “Disregard those 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 habitual national letter writer. It is easy to criticise.”

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