Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has dropped out of the 2023 presidential election.
In a statement he personally signed on Friday, in Abuja, the Minister said his decision to withdraw from the race has been communicated to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF).
The Minister said he took the decision after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and consulting widely with his family, constituents, supporters and well-wishers.
The statement reads: “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. I took this momentous decision firstly in the overall interest of the nation, in order to enable me 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.
“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.”
It would be recalled that President Buhari had directed all serving ministers, heads of government agencies, departments, parastatals; ambassadors and other political appointees with political ambitions for the forthcoming 2023 general elections to resign from their respective positions, including the embattled Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.
The directive was contained in a circular, dated May 11, 2022 with Ref. No.SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/173, and issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
In the circular, Buhari said the government had observed and noted that some members of the Federal Executive Council, Heads of Extra-Ministerial departments, agencies, parastatals of government, ambassadors and other political office holders have purchased nomination forms to contest the upcoming Presidential, Gubernatorial, National and State Assemblies’ elections.