The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said anyone blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the hardship and poverty in the country is being unfair to the president for a world problem.
NewsOnline reports that Ngige said hardship and poverty are world problems that have not left any country better, including the United States and European countries. He said making it seem to Nigerians by politicians and elder statesmen that Buhari inflicted poverty and hardship on them is not a reality.
The former governor of Anambra State said this in an interview with journalists on the achievements of President Buhari and in reaction to the letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Ngige said like Nigeria, Ghana, Coted’Ivoire, South Africa and other African countries have not been insulated from the poverty caused by Russia and Ukraine war that affected world’s economy.
The Labour and Employment Minister maintained that for politicians to campaign with hardship and poverty Nigerians are passing through and blame it on Buhari without reference to world’s economy showed they do not want to be sincere with the citizens.
He said: The issue of the economic situation in the country is not only in Nigeria because our African neighbors, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa were not insulated; ditto the United Kingdom and other developed economies of Europe and America.
“I wish to urge Nigerians to disregard politicians who will come campaigning and tell them that the Buhari government caused the hardship people are passing through. I am part of this government and when I start talking, people will say that I will defend the government because I am part of it.
“Yes, I must defend the government because I’m inside and I know the hard work put in to ameliorate this hardship we are seeing. It is also world over as the cost of living is up and there are low and middle-class agitations everywhere, especially among the working class. It is not only in Nigeria.”
Addressing the letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Ngige called him a ‘habitual national letter writer’. He questioned why the former president between 1999-2007 did not take the counrty to Eldorado he was in charge as president.
Ngige said for Obasanjo to have written that Buhari took the country back to pre-1999, showed he did not understand efforts being put in place by Buhari’s administration to manage and keep the economy of the country afloat.
“So, don’t mind those politicians who will come and say that the Buhari government inflicted hardship and poverty on you. One of them wrote a letter the other day, the habitual national letter writer. He said Buhari brought Nigeria below 1999 level. How can somebody say that? The same person ruled from 1999 to 2007.”
He asked, “What did he do to change here to Eldorado when he was in charge? It is easy to criticize. It is easy for spectators in the field of play to say they would have scored a goal if they were in the field of play. As a spectator, when the ball is in the penalty box, you move your legs as if you are the one playing. But, when they throw you inside there, you discover that the game is man-to-man. It is 90 minutes of man versus man. It is no longer a question of talking for clapping from the sideline.
“So, when politicians, especially our elder statesmen do this kind of write-up, you start asking yourself whether they want our country to remain in peace or be torn to pieces. I don’t like it. Chief Obasanjo is somebody I respect (and who we should all respect) a lot, but after reading his letter twice, I took exception to that aspect, criticizing a government trying to finish very well and strong, working assiduously, it is not good. The claim by Obasanjo is unbecoming of a leader of his status. “