The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on Wednesday said the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, was talking out of ignorance when he threatened him to inaugurate the boards of federal agencies and parastatals under his ministry or be suspended from the party.
Ngige spoke with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said he was not afraid of suspension.
He gave an indication that he was part of those who founded the party before bringing the likes of Oshiomhole in.
The minister maintained that the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund was yet to be inaugurated because of reports of diversion of funds to the tune of N48bn.
When asked when he was going to comply and if he was not afraid of suspension from the party, Ngige said,
“How? In a party that we formed and brought them in?
“The man (Oshiomhole) is talking out of ignorance. I am not afraid of suspension.”
Oshiomhole had said on Monday that the APC under his leadership would not continue to tolerate ministers who abuse their office and disrespect President Muhammadu Buhari by refusing to carry out his directives.
He dared Ngige not to comply within the stipulated time and see if he will not be suspended and thereafter, sacked from the federal cabinet.
Ngige had earlier in his written response explained why the Board of NSITF was yet to be inaugurated.
He had said, “Our National Chairman, I am in receipt of a letter referenced APC/NHDQ/ GEN-S/28/018/003 dated July 11, 2018, which was sent from your office and received by me on July 12, 2018.
“Ordinarily, I would not believe the letter was from you except for the barrage of media statements that came before I saw the letter. I read the contents of this letter with both amazement and utter disbelief.”
The minister said he had reconstituted three boards out of the four agencies and parastatals under his ministry, but has not been able to constitute the board of NSITF because of cases of financial malfeasance, which have put the agency under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.