Hours after attending a valedictory meeting held for outgoing Ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has made a U-turn.
The minister also stressed that he will not be participating in any of the internal party processes of the said election, starting with the primary elections.
Ngige said his earlier declaration for the presidency 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.
He said some of these supporters even taxed themselves to procure the Expression of Interest/Nomination Forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him.
The minister said the forms, however, were yet to be filled and submitted.
“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,” he said.
He said he took the momentous decision to withdraw firstly in the overall interest of the nation and to enable him to concentrate on his current job, and assist the President and the Government, whether during the difficult last lap, in the life of the administration and secondly for other family reasons.
“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 said.