The 2019 presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Kingsley Mogbalu, has taken a swipe at the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, over his comments in an interview with the Daily Sun newspaper on Tuesday.
Mr Ngige, in the interview, said the YPP candidate failed in his 2019 bid because he contested on the platform of “a relatively unknown party”.
He appealed to the Igbo to pitch their tent with the ruling All Progressives Party to obtain an Igbo Presidential ticket in 2023.
“Even in a village meeting, you must stand up and indicate interest for whatever position you want. You make it a topic, and of course, seek for support.
“That’s how the game goes. You don’t stay away from the scene and at the same time be saying that you want power. So, there is still time for us, the Igbo, to go and reinforce. We need to reinforce in the two main political parties. That is what I am saying.
“If you go to Young Progressive Party, you won’t be able to win even a local government. You are not the only one contesting. Dr Moghalu, my very good friend who was deputy governor of the Central Bank. He said that he was going to YPP. I called him and said ‘young man, you have not carried politics bag. You have not served anybody in politics,'” Mr Ngige mocked.
This is not the first time the minister will be making such appeal to the Igbo.
Mr Mogbalu, however, in his reaction, sent to PREMIUM TIMES, faulted Mr Ngige’s comment.
“I am a change agent, not a visionless, recycled politician that claims mandates on the basis of rigged elections and the blood of Nigerians killed in electoral violence,” he said. “Dr Chris Ngige reflects his utter contempt and arrogance as a Nigerian politician towards the poor masses and citizens of Nigeria. Our democracy is just a “game” for him.”
He also said: “Being a visionless career politician ‘carrying politics bag’ before graduating to being a political ‘overlord’ is, for some, the whole point of politics. Little wonder that our country is the poverty capital of the world, and the brain drain of our medical doctors to foreign countries is of little or no concern to our Minister of Labour and Employment.”
He argued that the Igbo had not been well served by many of their career political elite on the national scene but admitted that Nigeria needs “not just an Igbo President but a visionary and competent leader” to deliver the dividends of democracy to all.
“It is no secret, of course, that the Igbo have not been well served by many of their career political elite on the national scene. All too often, a majority of these personalities have lacked vision and courage. Some have focused only on the crumbs they can get in and from Abuja. They are content to play second fiddle to their political masters,” he argued.
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