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APC threatens to sanction Ngige over failure to inaugurate NSITF board

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige may incur the wrath of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) over his failure to inaugurate the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole who handed down the threat Monday at the Presidential Villa Abuja, if Ngige remains recalcitrant, the party would suspend him forthwith.

His words: “If the Minister refuses to inaugurate the board of the NSITF, we will suspend him from the party. You know we must instil internal discipline in the party. It is the height of mischief for any Minister to act dishonourably and nobody is greater than the party. If the President condones disrespect for his office, I will not condone disrespect for the party. When we expel the Minister we will prevail on the President that he can’t keep in his cabinet people who have neither respect for his own decisions nor have respect for the party without which they would not have been Ministers.”

Oshiomhole accused Ngige of taking undue advantage of the fatherly disposition of the President.

The National Chairman of the party declared that the Minister is not above the board, saying, “it is the same green pen that made him Ministers that equally appointed the boards that they are refusing to inaugurate.”

He stressed that it is illegal for any Minister in a democracy to prey on the powers of the board because the laws establishing those institutions are clear and that the boards have procedures to follow.

He added: “When a Minister sits in his office to appropriate the powers of the board in a democracy, not in a dictatorship, award contract that didn’t go through boards, those are clearly abuse of office for which they are liable. I am convinced that what they are doing is not with the endorsement of Mr. President. Over the period they have tried to drop the president’s name but I tell them it is the same authority that appoint these people.”

Oshiomhole noted that while the party has respect for the Ministers, they should equally understand that they are a product of a political party, which they owe allegiance to.

His words: “We have respect for ministers but only to the extent that they recognize that they are a product of a political party and we are not negotiating that. If they did that in the past, under our leadership we will not tolerate it. They either comply or we will expel them from the party. When we expel them we will find out how a government can keep a rebel in the cabinet. There is no question about that.”

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