By Chinelo Obogo
minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has formally declared his intention to contest the 2023 presidential poll under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The minister, who addressed a crowd at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State, yesterday, said he has the experience, capacity and energy to govern Nigeria and accommodate the differences among its people.
Ngige said his achievements and wealth of experience as former governor, ex-senator and two-time minister is what present day Nigeria needed even as he described himself as a ‘jack of all trades.’
He said under his watch, the Labour Ministry had resolved 1,683 industrial disputes in the last seven years, 95 per cent done successfully in the ministry and its agency, the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP), while about three per cent of the disputes went up to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
“Many would wonder that after serving seven years as minister in one of the most difficult ministries of in a polity riddled with rising unemployment, bickering and economic disputes between workers and employers, in a famished economy, I would have asked for a deserved rest. Yes, a deserved rest would have been okay for me as a person, but the zeal, the burning desire in me to see a prosperous, united and equitable Nigeria, where no man is oppressed, where there is no chasm between the haves and have not, would not allow me to go home and rest.
“Today, as I sit back to ruminate on the state of our country, I find a country led by a patriot, good-hearted leader, Muhammadu Buhari, though greatly misunderstood, especially in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. Permit me to say that I want to get the nomination of our party and to stand on its manifesto to actualise and execute the programmes of the APC.
“Shall we say the APC as a party and as a has failed? The answer is a big No. The three cardinal issues upon which Nigeria gave us a mandate in 2015 are infrastructure/economic development, security and anti-corruption. In properly assessing this and our programmes, it is important we start from where we met Nigeria in 2015. I don’t want to be one of those in the class of wailers, wallowing in self-pity. I want to be your ambassador so I can go and grow prosperity, and grow the resources that are needed for a big country like Nigeria.”