The Nigeria Minister of Labour and Productivity who purchased his political party’s N100 million forms when universities are still on strike has refused to resign but rather, withdraw himself from the 2023 presidential contest.
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered all appointees, especially ministers vying for various political offices, to resign before Monday.
Minister Chris Ngige, who hails from the South East of Nigeria where some are advocating for the next president should come from, has refused to resign as a minister despite paying N100 million for the forms.
On Tuesday, 19th April 2022, Minister Ngige publicly declared his interest to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following the constitutional provision that precludes incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari from seeking re-election.
“The declaration was made in my hometown, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State. My declaration was sequel to pressure on me from my constituents, political associates, friends and other well-meaning Nigerians, who felt I possessed the necessary qualifications and experience for the job,” Ngige said adding that some of the supporters even taxed themselves to procure the Expression of Interest/ Nomination Forms for him.
“The forms, however, are yet to be filled and submitted. Today, 13th May, 2022, I had an audience with the President, Muhammadu Buhari as a follow up to the one I earlier had with him on 11th May, 2022.
“Having also consulted widely with my family, constituents, supporters and well-wishers, it is my pleasure to announce the withdrawal of my interest and earlier decision to contest the office of the President in the 2023 general elections.
“As a result of this, I will not be participating in any of the internal party processes of the said election, starting with the primary.
“I took this momentous decision firstly in the overall interest of the nation, in order to enable me concentrate on my job, and assist the President and the government, weather the difficult last lap, in the life of the administration and secondly for other family reasons,” Ngige said.
According to him, “I have since communicated this decision to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“My constituents, political associates and well-wishers across the country are by this statement informed of this latest decision, which also has the blessing and support of the overwhelming majority, hence supersedes any other interest , personal or otherwise,” Ngige added.