The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has disclosed that he would not campaign for any presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.
The minister made the disclosure while speaking with journalists in his hometown, Alor, Idemili South Local Government of Anambra State where he went to distribute gifts items to the people of the area.
Mr Ngige, who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, described the four top contenders for the country’s number one seat as his good friends who possess the cognate experience to govern the country.
He said: “The four frontrunners are good candidates with cognate experience in governance at the federal and state levels.
“They are my friends, and they are well known to me. They have worked with me in one way or the other before now.
“Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, was at the helm of affairs in the country when I was kidnapped as a sitting governor.
“He was acting for Mr President, who was away in Maputo at that time. He ordered my reinstatement.
“We sat together in the National Economic Council, where he is the chairman. We formed the Action Congress, AC, with Asiwaju.
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC is also my good friend and political ally. He was very supportive during our trying times as governor. We formed AC together.
“We worked together in ACN and I became the lone opposition senator in the eastern region under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. He is not somebody I don’t know.
“Peter Obi of the Labour Party is my brother, his local government is next to mine here. He is my successor and everything. I know him too well. I know his capacity.
“Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of NNPP is my friend too. I knew him as deputy speaker of the federal house of representatives under Agunwa Anaekwe in 1991 as speaker. We were in APC so, so I know him,” he added.
Mr Ngige, however, counseled Nigerians to study the manifestos of each candidate and vote for the candidate of their choice.
“For me, let the Nigerian people vote right. Let Nigerians look at them and their manifestos and vote, according to what is right for the country.
“I don’t think I will go around campaigning for candidates A or B or C. I won’t do that. It is not my stock in trade. I don’t jump from party to party.
“But besides, I have some conscience and I am going to protect my conscience and make sure that I don’t hurt it,” he added.