Chris Ngige, minister of labour who is seeking to contest the presidency, says he doesn’t need to resign over section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022, ANAMBRA PEOPLE reports.
He spoke on Thursday when he featured on Channels Television.
There has been controversy over the aforementioned section which states: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
According to Ngige, the section does not apply to him as he falls under the ‘public officer’ category in the constitution.
“The constitution is the grand norm – the biggest and heaviest of all the laws. Section 137 has given areas of qualifications for presidential candidates. The constitution says public officers should resign one month to election,” he said.
“The issue now is ‘is the minister a public servant’? Yes, I’m a public servant. Go to schedule 5, you’ll see me listed there – ministers, commissioners, governors, vice-president, president and heads of ministerial bodies.
“They listed all of us and gave certain things you should not do, because as a public officer, you cannot take two jobs that have executive positions and receive salaries on them; you cannot do business or trade or be a contractor; that area says you can only do farming as a public officer, and inhibits me and others from operating foreign accounts. A public officer is a public servant.”
He also spoke on the N100 million fixed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the presidential nomination form.
“That’s what my party NEC fixed. Whether I’m happy with that or not, that is their own postulation. They have done their calculation; they have done their work. And Abdullahi Adamu, the chairman, is a very serious man if you know him well. He was my colleague in the governors’ forum and he was my colleague in the seventh senate. He’s a very serious-minded person,” Ngige said.
“For Adamu to say N100 million, he has seen certain things. I was a party official in PDP unfortunately, and a NEC member, so I know the workings of a party. I’m not going to crucify them or say ‘crucify them’.
“Let me give you a critical example. After the selling of these forms, candidates emerge. When you tell them to contribute to the party, you won’t see them. That’s our experience in PDP, ACN, APC. And they have done the right thing to encourage the young ones that they have 50 percent discount. That’s magnanimous enough”.