The Government and people of Anambra State heartily congratulated the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, OON, on his 68th birthday which was Sunday, August 8, 2021. Like Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State who turned 66 the same day and his marking his last birthday in office as governor without fanfare, Senator Ngige, a former Governor of the State, is marking his birthday instead of celebrating it.
C. Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, in a statement, said: “Senator Ngige was a successful governor when he led the state from 2003 to 2006. He laid the foundation of the rapid development of the State through road and healthcare development and provision of security, as well as prompt payment of salaries and pensions.
It is to his credit that he began the process of returning schools to their original owners, starting with 14 which included his own alma mater, St John’s Secondary and Technical School, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area. He also began the process of getting voluntary agencies to partner with the State Government in the management of hospitals; the partnership has been successful. A medical doctor, he did well to bring the General Hospital in Onitsha up to scratch.
Dr Ngige fought so-called godfathers to a standstill. Professor Chinua Achebe most appropriately described the so-called godfathers as “renegades determined to turn my home state of Anambra into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom”. Ngige paid a price for the fight. It is curious that Ngige’s efforts to develop Anambra State were for years not acknowledged. Even his entitlements as a former governor of the state were denied him until Chief Obiano became the Anambra State Governor and enunciated a very effective policy of reconciliation, inclusion and solidarity, regardless of the political leanings of different people and leaders of Anambra State. This policy has resulted in an unprecedented level of social harmony in Anambra State in the last seven years. Anambra remains united and peaceful.
As Senator Ngige turns 68 today, the people and Government of Anambra State remind him of his historical and moral duty to our beloved State: Never can he allow himself to be seen as in cahoots with renegades desperate to turn Anambra State into a lawless and bankrupt fiefdom. He should rather work harder to ensure that our State and the Southeast get their fair share in the national scheme of things.
We wish him many more years of good health, wisdom and service to God and humankind.