By Fred Chkuwuelobe
If there’s one politician since 1999 that has remained consistent in his political party affiliations and choices, it is His Excellency, Senator Chris Ngige, current minister of Labour and Employment.
When his opponents led by the Ubah brothers abducted him and tried to force him out of government and out of the PDP, he remained resolute. I recall several efforts made by Chief Chekwas Okorie and his APGA faction to convince him to jump ship. He refused. He fought his illegal removal within the PDP, went through the whole debacle while in PDP as “a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom”.
I also recall that Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, then Lagos State Governor, led an Alliance Democracy (AD) delegation with Bisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State, to ask him to cross over to AD, he also refused, but proposed to them the formation of a new party with a broader coalition of more dissatisfied PDP Governors and Ministers like Boni Haruna of Adamawa State, then Vice President Atiku Abubakar, current National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, and so on. His suggestion led to the birth of ACD, metamorphosing from ACD to Action Congress (AC). Even when the Northern elements went back to the PDP, Ngige remained loyal and instead of leaving, he contested the Governorship of Anambra State in 2010 ‘losing’ narrowly to then Governor Peter Obi.
When it was thought impossible that he could win an election with the so-called ‘Yoruba party’, Ngige contested the Anambra Central Senatorial seat and won against late Prof. Dora Akunyili and her sponsors Governor Obi, Senators Victor Umeh and Uche Ekwunife.
His current party primaries turned out fraudulent. He announced to the whole world that party members including himself were disenfranchised and that announcement of ‘hotel room baked’ results to impose an ‘anointed candidate’ will boomerang. He protested to the President and his party and told them that he would not campaign for such candidate. Not even when his first cousin was brought in as Deputy Governorship candidate, he still said an injustice has been committed on the 12 other aspirants and refused to endorse the ticket.
Despite his anger at the way the primaries went – there were no primaries, he still exercised his franchise at the just concluded governorship election.
He’s a consistent politician. He can be trusted. He can be counted upon when consistency is the deciding factor.
Now, flip back to all those who decamped few days to the just- concluded governorship election in Anambra State, thinking the APC will “win” the election. How could such politicians be trusted tomorrow?
I give thumps up to the astute politician from Alor, Idemili South LGA.
He’s consistent. He reads political calculations well. I’m sure he did well in Additional Mathematics and Calculus.
Give it to him, a visionary politician could look into the future and tell which political seeds can grow and which would not.
– Chukwuelobe was Senior Special Assistant to then Governor Ngige on Media and Publicity.