The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has explained why he cannot support or campaign for any presidential candidate out of the four frontrunners for the seat of presidency.
Ngige revealed his reason on Tuesday at his hometown in Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, while distributing gifts by his foundation to people in the area.
Ngige, an All Progressives Party member, said all four presidential candidates are his friends having worked with them at one point or the other, therefore he would not be able to pick any among them to support.
The minister described Peter Obi of the Labour Party as his brother, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the APC and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, as his good friends.
He therefore urged Nigerians to vote for the right candidate who would be able to work for them after a critical evaluation of their manifestos and antecedents.
He said, “The four frontrunners are good candidates with cognate experience in governance at the federal and state levels.
“They are my friends and they are well known to me. They have worked with me in one way or the other before now.
“Peter Obi of Labour Party is my brother, his local government is next to mine here my successor and everything. I know him too well. I know his capacity.
“Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party was at the helm of affairs in the country when I was kidnapped as a sitting governor. He was acting for Mr. President who was away in Maputo at that time. He ordered my reinstatement. We sat together in the National Economic Council which he is the Chairman. We formed the Action Congress with Asiwaju.
“Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC is also my good friend and political ally. He was very supportive during our trying times as governor. We formed AC together. We worked together in ACN and I became the lone opposition senator in the eastern region under the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria. He is not somebody I don’t know.
“Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of NNPP is my friend too. I knew him as deputy speaker of the federal House of Representatives under Agunwa Anaekwe in 1991 as Speaker. We were in APC so, I know him.
“For me, let the Nigerian people vote right. Let Nigerians look at them and their manifestos and vote, according to what is right for the country.
“I don’t think I will go around campaigning for candidate A or B or C. I won’t do that. It is not my stock in trade. I don’t jump from party to party. But besides, I have some conscience and I am going to protect my conscience and make sure that I don’t hurt it.”
The minister had indicated interest in contesting the APC presidential primaries and was said to have purchased the Expression of Interest Form before withdrawing from the exercise.