Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said the Igbos have no reason to complain about marginalization because when people from their region were in office, they failed to use the position to better the lot of the Igbo nation.
Speaking at a function in Anambra state on Monday, February 22, Ngige said the Igbos should stop blaming President Buhari for certain inadequacies in the South East. He opined that they should put the blame on their successive representatives and high profile politicians, who have occupied positions of authority such as Inspector General of Police, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and many others in the past but failed to use the positions to work for their people.
“I am not saying that giving sensitive positions to Igbo under Buhari regime is not good. I am saying that Igbo people have held sensitive positions such as the Inspector General of Police, Secretary to the Federal FGovernment, Finance and Economic Planning Minister, etc, but did not use the positions for the welfare of Igbo nation.
Igbo should be very careful over the insinuations they make, because, such insinuations are capable of causing disaffections among the Nigerian people. Igbo people in Diaspora are angry with Nigeria because of the kind of comments emanating from the South East over Buhari’s appointments. It is not true there is no Igboman among the service chiefs. The Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Onyenucheya is an Igbo. Chibuike Amaechi is an Igbo. It is not even proper to tell our brothers from the South South that they are not Igbo people. They fought on the side of the Igbo during the civil war, and they suffered casualties. Today, we are telling them they are not Igbo. It is not good.” he said
The Minister stated that the South East was not captured in the proposed rail development under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, explaining that it was in collaboration with Minister of Transport, Amaechi that they made a presentation to the Presidency before Igbo areas were eventually accommodated.
He further stated that three Igbo sons and daughters had been Aviation Ministers yet, they could not fix Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Regarding the Nigeria Police, Ngige said
“The South East gets only six police commissioners; South West got about 62; North East got about 35, and so on. Our people were crying foul; I reminded them that there were times Igbo were IGPs, but would not use their positions to make succession plans for Igbo people.
We shout marginalisation every day, but we were the people that marginalised ourselves in many ways. We’re blaming President Buhari for not appointing our people as service chiefs, but we fail to understand that appointment of people from the ranks of CPs to the AIGs are on seniority basis; but there is no Igboman on the seniority line. Out of the about 35 AIGs we have in the Nigeria Police Force today, there is no single Igboman there. It is a product of our past mistakes. Our people failed to make the succession plans.”