The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige has denied ever saying that "federal government would spend N1 billion on burial right of Nigeria’s former Vice President Alex Ekuueme, says statement was misleading
The Minister made his views known to the Deputy Director, Press Directorate of the ministry in the person of Mr Samuel Olowookere in Abuja yesterday claims the statement misleading and needless.
Ngige said he did not mention any figure to Ekwueme’s burial rites but that the former vice president deserves “a deserving national tribute to one of Nigeria’s foremost Statesman.”
However, Ngige accepted that he gave a summary of the number of projects the Federal Government has taken to ensure that a man who easily was Nigeria’s beacon of democracy was given a decent burial.
His words: “Perhaps the Minister has pre-empted the rhetoric’s of cynics and detractors who could have easily run to town to claim the Federal Government has abandoned Ekuweme’s in death.
“For the avoidance of doubt, what he did as a member of the Burial Planning Committee was to give the details of the road rehabilitation projects from the Awka end of the state and from Abia and Imo State axis, all leading to Ekuweme’s hometown of Oko, as well as the medical services, the Mausoleum and others. But at no time did the minister attach a figure of one billion naira.
“An unedited video and audio tape of the interview as recorded by both broadcast and print reporters are easily within reach.”