Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, says he was welcomed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) when he visited the United States of America recently.
Ngige said he fed and protected the group when he was the governor of Anambra State.
The former governor also urged the Igbo, one of the dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria, to stop claiming they are being marginalized.
The minister, an Igbo, advised his kinsmen to participate during the electoral process.
Ngige, speaking in Obosi, Anambra State, on Tuesday said: “The Igbo should stop shouting marginalization. They should stand up and assert themselves to be counted. Nigeria belongs to all of us.
“Equity favours the Igbo to produce the next president of the country, but they must work hard and position themselves for it.
“We should stop political sentiments. Politicians don’t give power based on sentiment and emotion. President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is favourable to an Igbo president.
“We must support him and associate with the APC. Nobody will give you the president of Nigeria in your bedroom.”
He also spoke about IPOB.
Members of the proscribed secessionist group have threatened to attack any Nigerian leader perceived to be corrupt when they go overseas.
Ngige said, “IPOB was registered by the late President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, and other Igbo as a non-violent group.
“What is going on now in the group is not part of the work plan. I visited the United States of America recently, and I was welcomed by IPOB members.
“They knew I fed and protected them when I was in office as governor. I have said it several times that Biafra cannot be achieved the IPOB way.”