Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, has asked Igbos to stop complaining of marginalisation by the President Muhammadu Buhari since they didn’t vote for him in the 2015 presidential polls..
He complained that all his efforts to get the Igbo to vote for the victorious Buhari in 2015 failed because of ‘lack of co-operation by many Igbo leaders’, whom he said decided to stick with former President Goodluck Jonathan who is from the Niger Delta.
“This is not a question I should answer because I’m a politician. But before these things happened, before the government of Jonathan failed, I went to all the Igbo fora to tell them that the Jonathan government will fall”, he told Thisday.
“I went to our Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo in Enugu twice. They could not even reply to a letter written by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, seeking for a meeting with them”, he added. It is not clear if there was political pressure on the Igbo group not to meet with Buhari by member of the Jonathan administration.
Ngige, disclosed how he spoke at a stakeholders forum for Igbos in William Nwodo’s house in Ikoyi, Lagos in 2014, where he examined the voting pattern in Nigeria and told Igbos gathered that even if Igbos did not want to support Buhari, they should give him 25 per cent of their votes.
“They refused to listen to me, and to make matter worse, there was no voting in most of the areas in the South-east; they just allocated 5 per cent to APC.
“It was that bad, it is too late to cry when the head is off. Politics is business in a way, you invest in business and you reap profit.
“Yes, that is what it is. But all I want to tell you is that we played bad politics; we made a bad investment because they invested in the Jonathan presidency. They invested in Jonathan more than the South-south, where he hails from.
“I am not saying that is enough to marginalize them or not allow them come in but we are there. I will continue to speak for them and when there is anything to be distributed, we will make sure that the South-east gets its own portion. But they will not get excess portion.”
Ngige continued; “Even in a family where the head of the family goes to the farm to harvest his yams those who accompany the farmer to the farm get more share.
“When they bring back the yams some of them will be damaged, and the pieces are put out in one section. Then the whole yams are put into the barn and some will be sent to the market for sale. And some will be sent to the family centrally for distribution among the family units.
“Those ones that are in pieces, the extras, will be shared among those that went to the farm. We did not benefit from the extras with people who went to the farm. We didn’t go to the farm in the south-east”,