David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Recent comments by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, describing those who disagreed with him over last Saturdayâ€™s failed All Progressives Congress (APC) ward congress in Anambra State as thugs and cultists have drawn the anger of the partyâ€™s stakeholders.
Ngige had in a statement by his media aide blamed another chieftain of the party, Hon Tony Nwoye, for the fracas that engulfed the meeting, which led to shootings.
But replying to Ngigeâ€™s comments, a former governorship aspirant of the APC in a statement signed on behalf of stakeholders of the party in the state, condemned Ngige for describing his fellow party men who were unhappy with the mode of conduct of the ward congress as thugs and cultists who invaded the meeting venue.
They queried Ngige for accepting to sit in a meeting with thugs and cultists if truly he had identified them as such.
Part of the statement which was made available to THISDAY in Awka yesterday read: â€œIt is very unfortunate that Ngige could describe fellow party members who came for the stakeholdersâ€™ meeting as thugs.
â€œStakeholders like Chief George Muoghalu (National Auditor of APC party), Barth Nwibe (Board Chairman of University of Jos Teaching Hospital), Johnbosco Onunkwo, Chief Azuka Okwuosa and many others came to the meeting on their own.
â€œMany issues were raised by the stakeholders, and the failure of Ngige to justify or provide answers to the issues led to the shouting and fracas,â€ the statement said.
The group condemned the violence, and insisted that the infiltration of the list of congress committee by unknown persons, which they suspected was done by the minister, was the real reason for the fracas.
â€œThe first panelist that came to conduct the congress did not sell any form neither did they consult the stakeholders. The sales of form in those wards or areas as mentioned by Ngige were in his imagination, who is not even a member of the committee.
â€œThere was no name in the list for Anambra and Imo States as Yunusa Musa, so how did he get access to congress forms and result sheets? That is what only Ngige can explain,â€ the stakeholders stated.