A member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, has slammed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige over comments he made during a television interview.
Asked on Friday night during an interview appearance on Channels Television if he would be voting for his friend, Labour Party (LP), candidate, Peter Obi or his party, the APC flagbearer, Bola Tinubu, Ngige refused to publicly disclose the presidential candidate he would vote for in the 2023 elections.
He said his choice will be made at the polls but he doesn’t have to publicly reveal who he’ll be voting for.
Ngige declared: “Both of them are my friends. My choice will be in the ballot box. It is a secret ballot. I shouldn’t tell Nigerians what I would do secretly.”
Angered by the Minister’s response, Ajaka cautioned political appointees on the platform of the APC not to play hide and seek about their political standing.
While descring Ngige’s comment as “uncalled for”, the NWC member said appointees either campaign publicly in support of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ticket or immediately resign their appointments from the party-led administration.
He said; “presidential primary election had long ended and the party had settled for the choice of Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, hence all the party leaders should put their ambitions behind them for now to deliver the party’s presidential ticket.
“It is expected of a serving Minister in an APC government to be a trusted apostle of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidency in 2023, who along other party leaders laboured to ensure the enthroment of the same government in 2015 which they are now serving in.
“Chief Ngige and other APC appointees, especially in the federal cabinet should not forget in a hurry that they are holding onto the party’s mandate, hence the need to protect it with whatever it requires, but if they can no longer protect the interest of the APC in public and that of our presidential candidate (Tinubu), I think the honourable thing to do is to step aside from the government formed by the APC.”
Generating Bad Blood
He stated that such comments by members of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is capable of generating bad blood among the rank and file of the ruling party.
“With this type of public comments from a sitting minister in a ruling party who cannot declare on national television his choice of presidential candidate, how on earth is the party expected to fare in the forthcoming presidential election?” he asked.