There was a brief altercation between the labour minister, Chris Ngige, and a lawmaker, James Faleke, during a hearing of an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The hearing was billed to discuss the suspension of the management of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), but it began with both men trading words.
Asked to explain the reason for the suspension, Mr Ngige began with a taunt, saying the lawmakers were “his younger brothers,” except Mr Faleke whom he said “might be up to 60 (years).”
Mr Faleke (APC, Lagos), a member of the ad-hoc committee, did not let that slip. He cut in by saying “I’m 60 years.”
But the minister said even at that, “you are a small boy.”
Mr Ngige said he is in the same age bracket as Bola Tinubu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is seen as Mr Faleke’s political godfather.
“So you are near my age, at least I am seven years older than you. I’m the same age with your mentor in Lagos, Asiwaju,” Mr Ngige said adjusting his nose mask.
“And I was governor with him (Tinubu) at the same time. He was a senator, I was a senator. I am a two-time minister, he isn’t a two-time minister.”
In what appeared to be a mockery of Mr Nigige’s nullified election as Anambra State governor in 2006, Mr Faleke teased, saying Mr Tinubu “won all his elections very well.”