LABOUR and employment minister Dr Chris Ngige has hinted that he may throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidential race by seeking the nomination of his party the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Under the terms of a gentleman’s agreement, the presidency of Nigeria rotates between the north and the south of the country and with President Muhammadu Buhari a northerner due to leave office in 2023, the race for a successor has begun. There are three geo-political zones in southern Nigeria and many commentators believe it is the time for Dr Ngige’s south-east zone to produce the next president, making him an ideal candidate.
Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan who come from the southwest and south-south geo-political zones respectively have both held the top job, so many people within the APC believe this time around, the party candidate should come from the Igbo-speaking southeast. Dropping a hint that he may be interested over the weekend, Dr Ngige, said he reserves the right to contest for the senate or presidency in 2023.
Speaking while dismissing reports that he was interested in contesting for the Anambra State governorship election billed for next year, Dr Ngige declared that he has no interest in becoming governor because he is on a national assignment as a minister. He spoke in his hometown of Alor in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Dr Ngige said: “Yes, there has been speculations that I am eyeing the governorship of Anambra State. They have written about it in a lot of media. I am a politician, so they have the right to speculate on my next move, however, my next move is very vast.
“Elections will come in 2023 and I have a right to vie for any position. I can vie for senate and I can vie for president if I so wish.
“Also, elections will be coming in Anambra State, latest November 2021 to elect a successor to Obiano, I am not disqualified, so I have a right to say I can run. However, I don’t have an interest for now in Anambra governorship because I am on a national assignment.”