Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) have commended the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige for strength of character.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Friday, Buhari rejoiced with Ngige as he turned 68 on August 8.
“The president joined the medical community, the labour fraternity, the legislature where the celebrant served as senator and the people of Anambra State whom he served as governor, to salute Ngige for his meritorious stewardship to community, state, country and humanity, wishing him greater health, strength and sound mind.
“As he serves as conciliator-general between government and organised labour, Buhari wishes the minister well in all his endeavours.” he said.
Also, in a congratulatory message signed by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NLC felicitated with Ngige, eulogising him for exhibiting traits of a truly great man.
The message read in part: ”Honourable Minister, you have carved a niche for yourself in the minds of many Nigerians as a dogged fighter in whatever cause you believe in.
“You demonstrated this trait very manifestly and robustly in Anambra State where you announced your emergence in national politics. It takes only a giant of a man to confront and defeat the political pantheon in Anambra State and their benefactors in higher reaches of power who wanted to keep Anambra State as a prized trophy.
“The minister went on to deliver excellent services to the people of Anambra State whose cause you chose to fight for rather than bow to the whims and caprices of a ravenous political elite.
“Rising as a silhouette from a humble background, his profile has grown from a greenhorn medical doctor to an accomplished career civil servant, and to a seasoned politician who has tasted many important political offices in the country-from a Governor to a Senator and now, a two-term Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As the Minister of Labour and Employment, Nigerian workers have had thrilling, tepid and tensed times under your oversight. We remark with appreciation your efforts in the last negotiation for a new national minimum wage for workers. One should expect no less given the fighter that you are.
“Looking back at the last few years of our relationship as social partners, one thing has stood out very clear; you have demonstrated one consistent character, which is the penchant of leaving the door of frank discussions, open negotiations, and genuine reconciliation open. Those are the traits of a truly great man.”