The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said that he had withdrawn his presidential aspiration to contest in the 2023 General Elections.
Ngige said this in a statement he signed and issued to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
According to him, on April 19, I publicly declared my interest to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
”This was 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.
”My declaration was sequel to pressure on me from my constituents, political associates, friends and other well meaning Nigerians, who felt I possess the necessary qualifications and experience for the job,” he said.
He noted that some of the supporters taxed themselves to procure the Expression of Interest/ Nomination Forms of the Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him.
He said the forms, however, had yet to be filled and submitted.
“Today, May 13, I had an audience with the President, Muhammadu Buhari, as a follow up to the one I earlier had with him on May 11.
”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 primaries.
”I took this momentous decision firstly in the overall interest of the nation.
“In order to enable me to 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,” he added.
The minister said that he had since communicated his decision to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
According to him, my constituents, political associates and well-wishers across the country are by this statement informed of this latest decision.
He added that the decision also had the blessing and support of the overwhelming majority, hence superseded any other interest, personal or otherwise.
Newsdiaryonline has been reliably informed that Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has also made a U-Turn on his Kebbi State gubernatorial ambition.He has thus decided to stay on as Minister.
Malami was one of those who was “sent off” earlier Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari. Sources told Newsdiaryonline Malami may have had second thoughts on “some outstanding key issues” and afterwards possibly convinced Buhari on the need for him to stay on as Minister of Justice.
There was no official statement on the development from the Minister’s office Friday evening.(With additional reports by NAN)