Ovu community, home town of the former NUPENG Secretary General, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, today, blocked the busy East/West road in protest of the refusal of the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, to swear in their son as Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF.
They also issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Ngige to swear in Kokori or face the wrath of the community as they threatened to move the protest to the ministry in Abuja and shut down Ngige’s office.
Speaking to newsmen, some of Ovu community leaders, Chief Ese Okwa, Mr. Ogheneruemu Ovedje, Chief Godwin Demide and Mr. Joseph Itugema lamented the refusal of Ngige to inaugurate Kokori as the chairman of NSITF.
They said their patience would have exhausted if at the expiration of the 72 hours ultimatum, their demand is not granted, adding that “Ngige should be ready and prepared to kill or arrest us.”
“How could a minister appointed by the President turns around to disobey the President’s directive to swear in Chief Frank Ovie Kokori that has been appointed to head the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund as Chairman?
“We, Ovu community see Ngige’s action as the height of disloyalty to the leadership of the APC ruling party and such person need not to be associated with or be appointed in a progressive government like APC”, they fumed.
Also speaking, Mr. Victor Eferigho and Chief Paul Dedemise, said the community’s protest was a signal to Ngige and his alleged cohorts supporting him in Delta state, especially from the Urhobo extraction that the plot to deny Kokori of his well deserved appointment had become an open secret.
“Ngige knows Kokori’s pedigree that he is not a man he can turn around for his selfish interest. Hence, he is fighting to see that the man does not come in because he (Kokori) will not agree to his backyard and dubious business.
“But if Kokori is not qualified, why then did Ngige congratulate him as the Chairman? Maybe he has not thought about whom the man was that his second name is integrity, but the moment Ngige realised, that was when he knew that Kokori is no longer fit”, the community spokespersons alleged, adding that the plot to foist “his boy, Austin Enajomor Isire as the Chairman of NSITF will not work”.
The community commended the leadership of NLC, NUPENG, PENGASAN and other labour bodies for their solidarity and strong support for the former labour leader.