Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment has come under criticism for not openly accepting Tinubu, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) as his preferred candidate.
The criticism was made by Murkala Ajaka, the deputy national publicity secretary of the APC.
Ajaka demands that Ngige should resign if he cannot support Bola Tinubu, the party’s standard bearer.
Ajaka was reacting to comments made by Ngige when he appeared on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television.
When asked whether he would endorse Tinubu or back Peter Obi, the flagbearer of the Labour Party, Ngige described the question as “difficult”.
“Both of them are my friends. My choice will be in the ballot box. Whether conscience or no conscience, on that day in February, I’ll have one vote,” he had said.
In a statement on Saturday, Ajaka criticised the minister over the remarks.
“The 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,” the deputy spokesman said.
“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 enthronement 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 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.
“With this type of public comment 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?”
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