Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has asked the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to stop linking him to the re-arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Ngige said as the Chief Labour Officer, he lacked the time to meddle into security and diplomatic matters, which clearly fall within the mandate of the Nigerian Security and National Intelligence Agencies.
In a statement by his Media Office in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister described the statement by the IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, attempting to link him with the arrest of Kanu as deceitful, mischievous, malicious and wicked.
The Minister said IPOB and its spokesperson know him (Ngige) very well as a man who calls “a spade a spade” and has no room for “equivocation or speaking from both sides of the mouth” since his days as Governor in Anambra State.
It said: “Ngige is occupied, involved and engrossed with his duties as the Labour and Employment Minister, member of Federal Cabinet Committee for Economic Recovery and member of the Economic Sustainability Committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari, which is headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with the mandate to tackle the challenges and fallouts of COVID-19 and post COVID-19 era.
“It is therefore unthinkable that somebody with grey matter in his brain, except if he is hallucinating like the IPOB spokesman, could accuse a very busy Minister like Senator Ngige of being part of a ‘conspiracy’ for the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu.
“The Minister, being somebody with long-standing experience in the public service, knows the bounds of his office and does not have the time to meddle into Foreign Affairs of Extradition and security matters that clearly fall within the mandate of the Nigerian Diplomatic Missions, national intelligence agencies.
“Ngige is neither the Minister of Police Affairs, Justice, Foreign Affairs nor the National Security Adviser, to start discussing issues of extradition or arrest of a fugitive outside Nigeria’s territory, which are clearly outside his mandate.”