Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari is not a hater of the Igbo people.
He made the claim in an interview with Vanguard on Sunday.
Nigige asked Ndigbo to exercise patience with the Buhari government, adding that there are projects in the South East to show that the President loves the Igbo people.
The minister added that the President had reached out to some Igbo leaders over the insecurity situation in the South East and ways to quell the secession agitations in the region.
“The President doesn’t hate them (Ndigbo) and as he has reached to their leaders, he will act, how he will act I don’t know now but there are so many constitutional provisions in which the President can exercise his powers,” he said.
Nigige disclosed that he facilitated the meeting between some Igbo leaders and President Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Friday.
He submitted that the First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi initiated the meeting which he supported and arranged.
Ngige said: “When Honourable Mbazulike initiated it and consulted me, we agreed that it is a worthwhile journey. Mbazulike was one of the three old wise men that worked with me when I was governor in Anambra State. When he came up with this request I decided also that it was a step in the right direction.
“He said that it is what will give him the last joy before he departs from this planet. So, I am happy to be involved in it. The President also said that being an old man of 93 years this request is very heavy even though it has some implications.
“I acted as a facilitator, he copied me the letter to Mr President and called me on the phone when he had not gotten any reply. With my own copy, I met Mr President.”
Speaking on the choice of members of the delegation, Ngige said Mbazulike insisted that members of the entourage must be non-active politicians.
He added: “That was the guiding yardstick. Only two persons could not make it, General Ike Nwachukwu, retd., and the Obi of Onitsha because of some other appointments they had.
“Chief Mbazulike Amaechi initiated the visit and we decided that we don’t want any practising politicians to go with us.
“That’s why we didn’t bring any governor. We don’t want to drive a political change. I went to Mr. President to facilitate the appointment.”