By Balogun Kamilu Lekan
Chris Nwabueze Ngige was born on August 8 1952 to Chief Pius O.Ngige and Mrs Pricilla N. Ngige in Alor town, Anambra State.
Ngige is a retired medical practitioner and a politician.
He is currently Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
After his elementary and secondary education, Ngige headed to the University of Nigeria-Nsukka where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery (BM.BCH) in 1979.
In 1990, he obtained a Diploma in Hospital Management in Peshawar, where he was inducted as a fellow of the Pakistan Institute of Hospital Service.
Ngige started his professional career as a medical officer at the National Assembly Clinic, where he worked from 1980-1982 before serving as the Physician to the Senate President in 1983.
He later served as the Physician of the State House/Federal Government special Guest House from 1985-1990.
Chief Ngige was also a Consultant and Assistant Director in charge of all Federal Medical Centres in Nigeria from 1994-1997.
Later on, he was appointed the Deputy Director of Hospital Services Federal Medical Centres/Teaching Hospitals. A position he held from 1997-1998
From 1996 to 1998, he was a member of the Ministerial Task Force on Completion of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku Ozala, Enugu before he finally announced his retirement from the medical profession and ventured fully into politics.
His transition into politics coincided with the time Nigeria ushered in a democratic government in the fourth republic in 1999. Ngige was one of the founders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He also served as the Assistant National Secretary and Zonal Secretary of the party in the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
Chris then contested and was elected as the governor of Anambra State in 2003. An election that later became a very controversial one.
It was reported that Chinwoke Mbadinuju won the PDP primary election, but the nomination was given to Chris Ngige.
After his assumption of office, he fell out with some strongholds of his party, and this led to an attempt to oust him from office. Ngige was reportedly kidnapped by a contingent of more than 200 policemen, and a letter of resignation was fabricated in his name and submitted to the state assembly.
The state assembly then demanded that his deputy be sworn in after reading what was allegedly his resignation letter. Later, Ngige called Radio Nigeria to retract the resignation, saying he was being held against his will.
Ngige attributed his problems to Chris Uba, a former political friend and state-level PDP splinter leader. He said that Uba had increased pressure on him to approve payment of three billion naira ($23.62 million), which he claimed was money spent on the governor’s election.
According to Ngige, Uba also desired to appoint all of his personal employees and cabinet members.
To add salt to his injury, in 2005, Chris Ngige’s 2003 election victory was nullified by the election tribunal.
Ngige, however, appealed the nullification, but the annulment was affirmed and Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was declared the winner of the election after three years. He later accepted the annulment in good faith.
In 2010, Chief Ngige contested for the office of the Anambra state governor but lost to Peter Obi, the incumbent at that time.
However, in 2011, Ngige was elected Senator of the Anambra Central Senatorial District as a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) but lost his reelection in the following election.
In 2015, Chris Ngige was appointed as the Minister of Labour and Employment by President Muhammadu Buhari and was reappointed to the same position in 2019.
Wife and Children
Ngige is married to Dr Evelyn Ngige, a consultant paediatrician, and their marriage is blessed with three children.
Chris Nwabueze Ngige is undoubtedly one of the most influential politicians in the country today.
He is reportedly worth an estimated net worth of $5 million; but this cannot be independently verified.
Below is a list of some of Chris Ngige’s awards.
- Recipient of Nigeria’s National Honours of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON),
- Member, Nigeria G 15-Economic Cooperation Council 1990
- Member, Vision 2010 sub-committee on health
- Ad hoc lecturer on Budget/contract procedures to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Badagary Chief Medical Directors’ Course in 1996
- Foundation Sole Administration, Aka-Ikenga, Lagos, 1988-1990
- President, Aka-Ikenga, 1992-1997
- Chairman, Alor Development Union, Lagos Branch, 1990-1999
- President General, Alor People’s Convention, 1996-1999
- Special Adviser and Member, Igwe Alor In-Council, 1990–present
- Co-Convener Nkpoko Igbo, pre-constitutional conference seminar in Enugu, 1995
- Member, Ohanaeze Council of Elders and member strategic committee, 1992-1997
- Foundation Member of PDP, National Level, 1998
In 2003, Chief Chris was alleged to have visited the dreadful Okija Voodoo Shrine in Anambra to swear an oath of allegiance with his political godfathers before becoming governor.
He, however, refuted this claim of taking any oath but never denied he was at the shrine. He said, “I went to Okija Shrine with my Bible and refused to take any oath.” Take an oath for who and what? It is rubbish and is absolute nonsense. “Satan took Jesus to the mountain for trial, but at the end Jesus triumphed over him.”
The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.
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