Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said he would be neutral in the choice of the next President of Nigeria as he was not ready to work for the emergence of any of the presidential candidates in the February elections.
The Minister, who is a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said his position was because the four frontline presidential candidates are his friends, and that he was not ready to campaign for or against any of them.
Dr. Ngige said this, on Wednesday, in his country home in Alor while speaking to journalists.
He urged Nigerians to rather look at the programmes of the candidates and determine which of them was better than the other, and vote right.
When prodded further on which of the candidates he believed might win the election, Dr. Ngige said he would not like to predict, insisting Nigerians should be allowed to choose who they want to be their president.
Giving an account of his personal relationship with each of the frontline presidential candidates, Ngige said: “Malam Kwankwaso, is my friend, I know him too as deputy speaker when he was deputising Agunwa Anekwe, one of our party’s strong men.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Vice President (former) the Federal Republic of Nigeria was the man who was in the helm of affairs when I was ‘kidnapped’- when I was shoved out of office.
“He was standing in for Mr. President (Obasanjo), who was in Maputo, and he ordered the Inspector General of Police then, to reinstate me to office.
“I also worked with him in the economic team- National Economic Council as the Vice President. So, I know him, and he is a friend of mine, and we also formed AC together.
“Peter Obi, my brother, my successor and my everything. I know him too and he is a friend. So, how do I campaign against any of them?
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my friend again – supportive. During trying times; we formed AC together. I became the known opposition senator in the Eastern Region under the auspices and platform of the ACN. So, he is not somebody I don’t know,” Dr. Ngige said.