The genesis of the condemnation of House of Representatives member, James Faleke, by Minister of Labour and Employment, HE Chris Ngige, has emerged.
Ngige lost his cool after an insulting and demeaning comment by Faleke (APC – Ikeja constituency).
The duo had a verbal exchange at the National Assembly when the minister appeared before an ad-hoc committee of the House.
Ngige was invited to explain the suspension of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) management and clear allegations against him.
As proceedings went on, Faleke, while asking his question, seemed to have ridiculed the minister.
The lawmaker suggested that Ngige was appointed a minister even though President Muhammadu Buhari lost in his area during the presidential election.
Faleke, the APC Deputy Governorship candidate in 2015, said: “You’re a former governor by the grace of God, you’re also a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You served in the first tenure as a minister, now is your second term.
“Honourable Minister, will you say your appointment by Mr President was based on you being a member of the party or because of your personality or because of your performance for the President at the election?
“Because I looked at the result, I discovered that in your local government, your scored 2,200 votes for the President, while the PDP scored 17,000. Thank you, that’s my question.”
The statement not only angered Ngige, but it also triggered a comparison of him with Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He declared: “I am at least seven years older than you. I’m sure. I am the same age as your mentor in Lagos, Asiwaju (Tinubu). I was Governor with him at the same time. He was a Senator, I was a Senator. I am a two-time Minister, he is a two-time Minister.”
Faleke, who at this point sounded defeated, quipped in a lower tone: “But you won these elections very well?”
The minister replied with a mockery: “Just like you won your own in Kogi State very well. You are now both the Governor and Deputy Governor.”
Ngige completed the jab by informing Faleke that he is “just a small boy in Lagos. Look at this Mushin boy, talking to a Victoria Island boy.”
The former Anambra governor’s retort has sparked conversations.