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JUST IN: Ngige steps down 2023 presidential race ahead APC primaries

By News Desk

Less than 17 days to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has withdrawn from the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, and has decided to see through his present assignment at the ministry.

Ngige said that his decision was made after a closed-door meeting with the President and in the overall interest of the public that would be affected if he leaves the incumbent administration.

Stressing that he had yet to fill and submit the N100 million worth expression of interest and nomination forms of the ruling party bought for him, he explained that family-related issues were also responsible for his decision.

The minister added that the withdrawal would assist him concentrate on his ministerial job and assist the present administration, especially in what he describes as the difficult last lap.

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While announcing his decision on Friday, he stated that he has since communicated his decision to President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

Ngige’s announcement followed a valedictory session held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital, in honour of ministers seeking elective offices in the 2023 general elections.

He had declared his intention to run for President in the forthcoming polls while addressing a crowd of supporters on April 19 at his hometown in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

In the statement made available to newsmen, the minister stressed that he would not be participating in any of the APC internal party processes particularly the primaries.

According to the statement, I had an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari as a follow up to the one I earlier had with him on May 11th, 2022. And 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.

“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, to weather the difficult last lap, in the life of the administration and secondly for other family reasons”.

The new development marked the end of his ambition to become the country’s next president, which he were reasons for several weeks of consultations across the country particularly the South-Eastern part of the country.

Ngige’s withdrawal increased the number of presidential aspirants from the South-East that had dropped their ambition to two after the senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Kalu, who withdrew from the race over lack of support from other regions in the country.

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