Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has berated Arthur Eze, for casting aspersions on him over his advice that the 12 traditional rulers suspended by the Anambra State Government should be relocated from their communities to avert breach of peace.
Ngige described Eze as a fair weather politician who befriends any government in power, and uses his wealth to intimidate, oppress and brutalise the downtrodden in Anambra State communities, bordering his Ukpo hometown in his land grabbing spree.
The minister spoke while reacting to an attack on him by the Anambra businessman.
However, Eze said he had instructed his media directorate not to further reply or dignify Ngige’s tirades, who he described as Nigeria’s most unfortunate and accidental minister, with a reply or response.
“For I should not expect respect from he who once dragged his biological father to court. I think his irresponsible behaviour, both to the National Assembly, his Alor community and the public as a minister, are genetic as he also lacks social comportment and public decorum.”
Last Sunday, Eze had issued a statement, through Oliver Okechukwu Okpala, where he attacked Ngige in a reply to media reports that the former governor had called on Governor Willie Obiano to banish him (Eze) and the suspended traditional rulers.
Governor Obiano had sanctioned the 12 traditional rulers for travelling out of the state without clearance in order to accompany Eze to Aso Rock on what they tagged: “a thank you visit to Mr. President,” for his infrastructure development in the South East and what he has done for Igbo.
Reacting to the attack on him by the Anambra businessman, which he viewed as unwarranted and indecorous, Ngige said: “Arthur Eze is a fair weather politician, political turncoat and apostle and commander-in-chief of members of any government in power.”
In a statement from his media office signed by Emmanuel Nzomiwu, the labour minister said as a former governor and elder of the state, he had only advised Anambra government to relocate the traditional rulers out of their domain for administrative and security reasons.
According to Ngige, when officials of government and, in this case, the government certified traditional rulers are suspended from office, they cease to perform the functions of the office and hence, they should not be allowed to be visiting or threatening those carrying out their functions by still visiting the office whether it is in the palace or elsewhere.
“Much more importantly, those suspended traditional rulers have started experiencing violent protests, demonstrations and calls for their outright dethronement in their respective communities of Abacha (Idemili North coincil), Alor (Idemili South council), Aguleri Enugu Otu and Mkpu Nando-Otu Aguleri, both in Anambra East council, as well as in many other places, thereby raising security concerns.
“These two reasons are very compelling and serious enough for the state government to relocate these persons, especially the one from Ngige’s community, Alor, who was never crowned by the community but imposed by the former governor Peter Obi administration on the Alor community.
“There is no time Ngige, as a man of rule of law, asked for banishment of Eze, an act which would have run against the tenets of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”