As the debate on presidential zoning to the South East continues to take centre stage, the Anambra State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, to run for president during the 2023 general elections.
The state chapter of the APC made the resolution and adopted Dr Ngige as the most credible southeasterner, whose antecedents reach across the nation and stand shoulder-high for the presidential contest in 2023, at the 2021 end-of-the-year get together at Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, which had in attendance members of the state executive and working committees, local government and ward executives as well as top stakeholders of the party.
Top stakeholders at the event included one-time speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Agunwa Anaekwe, former member of the House of Representatives, Gozie Agbakoba, Nelson Onubogu, State Party Secretary Chukwuma Agufugo and Legal Adviser Emma Chikelu, State Publicity Secretary Madukife, and the traditional ruler of the host community, Igwe Collins Chukwumesili, among other party chieftains.
He said: “Sen Chris Ngige has served Anambra people meritoriously. He served under an unimaginable, difficult and oppressive circumstances but left a record that is yet to be broken by his successors. He has shown character, consistency and an uncommon belief that Nigeria can work for all Nigerians with square pegs in square holes.
“At the Labour ministry where the President entrusted him with the fate of the nation’s workforce, after a successful stint at the seventh Senate, where he was the only opposition legislator from the old Eastern Region, Ngige, despite age-long teething challenges inherited by the Buhari administration, has achieved stable industrial milieu.
“He has been the pivot for the aggregation of the problems and challenges facing our people, and making formidable representation before the presidency. And he does so, quietly, without airs. He has shown character.
He has shown integrity and has shown friendship to every part of Nigeria. He is unarguably the South East’s best chance for a shot at the presidency. Duty, therefore, calls on us to urge him to rise to the occasion.”
Consolidating the motion, a former member of the old Anambra State House of Assembly in the Second Republic and later deputy speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly between 2003-2007, Ozo Ughamadu, said Ngige epitomised the aspiration of the people of South East for equity in Nigeria’s federation. “Besides, he has a tested capacity for delivery.
He will be fair to every part of Nigeria. He has an exceptional capacity to look inwards and find solutions where others lose faith.
He believes strongly that Nigeria can work and has demonstrated so by sending all his three children to Nigerian public schools where they graduated as doctors. We, therefore, mandate him to contest for the presidency of Nigeria in 2023, pleading with our brothers from other zones to support us. ”
In his reaction, Ngige, who dwelt extensively on topical state and national issues, noted that he was not unmindful of the challenge thrown at him by his party members, adding that he is qualified to contest the election.
He, however, appealed to them to give him up to Easter 2022 to respond to their demand, adding that he has to consult his family members,
political associates and other stakeholders before then. Ngige who charged the party members to remain steadfast in grassroots mobilisation so as to ready the party structures for future elections, said the Anambra State governor- elect, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, confided in him that he would conduct credible local government elections.”