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General News of Wednesday, 27 April 2022


2023: I'm not aware of directive to resign - Ngige

Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment

Presidential hopeful and Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, on Wednesday in Abuja, said he would not bow to a new directive issued by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress mandating all political appointees who aspire to participate in the May primary elections at all levels to resign at least 30 days before the conduct of the primaries, as he was not aware of such directive.

Ngige, who maintained that he had no idea about the directive, said it was his constitutional right to run for the country’s highest office.

According to him, since the March 18 judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia struck out section 84(12) of the recently signed Electoral Act 2022, he was under no pressure to resign.

“I don’t know about that. I’m hearing it for the first time from you. But like I always say, I’ll be guided by the letters and spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“That aspect of the law enacted by the National Assembly, via the Electoral Act, that section 84(12), has been struck down by a court of law and the cases are on appeal. And for now, no matter how bad the judgment is, that’s the maximum jurisprudence. No matter how bad the law is, it is a judgment of court, it should be obeyed, until upturned or stayed.

“But there is no stay, there’s no atonement of that particular pronouncement, and the party is on appeal. So the judgment is still subsisting. That aspect of the law was injurious to some persons and should not have been there.

“I also know that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Sections 107, 137 and 88, prescribes disqualification clauses for people who are going for election and that prescription is supreme, because it’s in the constitution and the constitution is the grand-norm of all laws.”

When reminded that the APC has asked all ministers to resign, he said: “No, it’s not there. It’s not in the works at all. But I will make some consultation with the party, I will find out.

“I have not seen that pronunciation from the party. I have not seen any release from the party. It has not been conveyed to me or to anybody. I’m an aspirant, I’m a presidential aspirant. So I’ll find out and if it is true, I will then know what to do.”

On the N100m fee for the nomination and expression of interest form, the Labour Minister said, “Well, that is the people’s views. I had said earlier that I made a budget for N50m, and it is now N100m.

“So I have discussed with my supporters, and they are raising the money to augment whatever is before now. So when they finish augmentation, I believe that we’ll get up to N100m so that we can purchase our form.”

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