By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February general elections, Peter Obi, has asked the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to focus on how to make Nigeria work rather than trying to diminish the reputation he built over eight years as Anambra Governor.
In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Valentine Obienyem, Obi said Ngige’s achievement as the governor of Anambra State was too little to erase his (Obi’s) achievements and reputation before the people of Anambra State who he served for eight years.
He asked Ngige to avoid dissipating energy on how to pull him down.
The PDP VP candidate was reacting to a newspaper publication credited to Ngige wherein the minister allegedly said he was ashamed of the quality of roads constructed by his successors, including Obi.
Obi in the statement wondered why Ngige loved attacking him, stating that he had hardly made any bad comments against Ngige even in the heat of electioneering.
“What is most condemnable in Ngige’s attacks are the lies he tells just to bring Obi down. How could he mention roads such as Abatete-Nteje-Aguleri-Otuocha road and Igboukwu-Ezenifite-Umunze, Iseeke roads and deliberately forgot that Obi did greater portions of those roads?”
“Over 90 per cent of the roads, Ngige mentioned he built were done in his Local Government Area.
The statement said though Obi used local contractors to build roads during his reign as governor, major road contracts in the state were done by expatriates at the time.
“Knowing the importance of road maintenance, shortly before he left, Obi set up the Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency with full compliments of brand new equipment. He also left over N4bn in the Ministry of Works for road maintenance before he handed over”, the statement said.
He asked Ngige to stop comparing his tenure as Anambra State and that of Obi because he achieved little or nothing in his 33-month reign as governor of the state before a Court of Appeal, Enugu Division nullified his election in 2006.