By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Anayo Okoli
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, says he is yet to inform President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to contest for presidency because he has not yet concluded his consultations.
Ngige is one of the cabinet members in the Buhari’s administration who have shown interest in their principal’s seat at the end of his (Buhari) tenure next year.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday Vanguard, Ngige, who is a former governor of Anambra State, said he will join the presidential race after Easter, adding that he would have concluded his consultations then.
Although the minister’s posters and some vehicles branded on his name welcoming the delegates were sighted at Eagle Square during the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Convention on March 26, he denied knowledge of the development but rather said that the posters might have been pasted by his sympathizers’ or those who wanted to conscript him into the presidential race.
“I didn’t see the posters and if you saw the posters, maybe it was sympathizers that put them up or those trying to conscript me,” he said.
Responding to the claim that he gave the approval for his posters to be displayed at Eagle Square, he said, “That is what you will hear. After all, I am a politician. So, you people can extrapolate anything.”
He maintained that he would make open his intention to contest for presidency after Easter.
Asked why he had not told the President of his intention to contest for the number one position in the country, he said, “Because I am consulting, I am still consulting.”
On whether he has the political structure and support from the party to win its ticket for the election, he said, “I am a foundation member of the APC, I am one of the founding fathers. We did the preliminary negotiations. I was the deputy chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee for a new party APC in 2013 and I have enough linkages with other Nigerians. But the important thing is that I have not concluded my consultations. This consultation will be taken to the north, to the southeast and west before it will complete.”