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Dr. Chris Ngige
Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, has withdrawn from the 2023 presidential race.
The minister who made the announcement, said he took the “momentous decision” in the interest of the nation and to enable him concentrate on his job.
Ngige was one of the presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
His withdrawal came less than two days after President Muhammadu Buhari directed all members of his cabinet seeking elective offices in the 2023 elections to resign on or before May 16.
Following the directive, some ministers had tendered their resignation, while the president, earlier on Friday, met with the outgoing cabinet members.
The labour and employment minister was one of the cabinet members present at the valedictory session.
Said the minister while announcing his withdrawal in a statement he personally signed: “Today, 13th May 2022, I had an audience with the president, Muhammadu Buhari, as a follow up to the one I earlier had with him on 11th May 2022.
“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 election.
“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”.
Ngige said he chose to pull out of the race to assist the president and the Federal Government to “weather the difficult last lap” of the administration.
The minister also cited family reasons as part of the motivation to no longer pursue his ambition, adding that he had communicated his decision to the president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).
He said although, he had received the expression of interest/nomination forms from his supporters, they were yet to be filled and submitted.