Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has pulled out of the presidential race after paying a whopping N100 million to purchase 2023 presidential forms under the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Ngige announced his withdrawal through a press statement issued on Friday titled, “Withdrawal of my Presidential Aspiration”.
The statement reads, “on Tuesday, 19th April 2022, I publicly declared my interest to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following the constitutional provision that precludes our amiable incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari from seeking re-election to the office, as he would have completed his two terms in office by 29th May 2023.
“The declaration was made in my home town, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The Labour Minister said his declaration in the first place was sequel to pressure on him from his constituents, political associates, friends and other well-meaning Nigerians, who felt he possess the necessary qualifications and experience for the job.
“Some of these supporters even taxed themselves to procure the Expression of Interest/ Nomination Forms of our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for me.
At the time of announcing his withdrawal from the race, he said he was yet to fill the nomination form as he had an audience with the President, Muhammadu Buhari as a follow up to the one he 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.
According to the statement, he said he took the decision to withdraw in the overall interest of the nation, so as to concentrate on his job and assist the President weather the difficult last lap.
The second reason he gave for his withdrawal was family reasons while he said he had communicated his 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’’, he said.