FORMER Young Progressive Party (YPP) presidential candidate Professor Kingsley Moghalu has lashed out at labour minister Dr Chris Ngige for referring to him as a political minion saying he is not a failed and recycled minister.
With Nigeria due to hold presidential elections in 2023 and there being a growing consensus that the position should be zoned to the southeast geo-political zone, the spat between the two men is seen as the start of a battle to secure the ticket. Both men are from Anambra State and are likely to be seeking to run as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate come 2023.
Earlier this week, Dr Ngige said the YPP candidate failed in his 2019 bid to become president because he contested on the platform of a relatively unknown party. In a national newspaper interview, Dr Ngige appealed to Ndigbo to pitch their tents with the ruling APC to obtain an Igbo presidential ticket come 2023.
He said: “Even in a village meeting, you must stand up and indicate interest for whatever position you want. You make it a topic and of course, seek for support, that’s how the game goes.
“You don’t stay away from the scene and at the same time be saying that you want power. So, there is still time for us, the Igbo, to go and reinforce. We need to reinforce in the two main political parties.
“If you go to Young Progressive Party, you won’t be able to win even a local government as you are not the only one contesting. Dr Moghalu, my very good friend who was deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said that he was going to YPP, so I called him and said young man, you have not carried politics bag, you have not served anybody in politics.”
Professor Moghalu, however, faulted Dr Ngige’s comments, saying that Ndigbo have not been well served by many of their career political elite on the national scene. He added that Nigeria needs not just an Igbo president but a visionary and competent leader to deliver the dividends of democracy to all.
“I am a change agent, not a visionless, recycled politician that claims mandates on the basis of rigged elections and the blood of Nigerians killed in electoral violence. Dr Chris Ngige reflects his utter contempt and arrogance as a Nigerian politician towards the poor masses and citizens of Nigeria and our democracy is just a game for him.
“Being a visionless career politician carrying politics bag before graduating to being a political overlord is, for some, the whole point of politics. Little wonder that our country is the poverty capital of the world and the brain drain of our medical doctors to foreign countries is of little or no concern to our minister of labour and employment.
“It is no secret, of course, that the Igbo have not been well served by many of their career political elite on the national scene. All too often, a majority of these personalities have lacked vision and courage and some have focused only on the crumbs they can get in and from Abuja, content to play second fiddle to their political masters,” Professor Moghalu said.