Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has said he would formally declare his intention to contest the 2023 presidential election on Tuesday.
Ngige made the disclosure on Saturday while speaking at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, where he received the members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) South-East Progressive Forum.
The group is among numerous other political and apolitical groups across the country, urging Ngige to join the presidential race.
Addressing the crowd at the airport, the former Anambra State Governor said he had consulted widely and the time has come for him to speak about his presidential ambition.
Ngige recalled that last December he received a similar call from his brothers of the APC stock and some that have not practiced politics, who came to his hometown, Alor, and pressurised him to join the presidential race.
He said: “Make no mistake about it, the presidency is due to us in the Southern part of Nigeria. It is also truism that of all states in the South, only the South-East has not tasted the presidency. That gives much weight to the demand you are making.
“In PDP, they are arguing whether it will be North or South. In our own party, APC, we have already agreed that it is South.
“I told my supporters when they came on December 31 last year that I will speak after the spiritual season of Lent, to enable me consult my God, angels and archangels.
“Easter is tomorrow. It is the resurrection day. We shall rise with the resurrection and after Easter Monday, I will make a pronouncement on my journey to the presidency.”
The two-time minister said he had done consultation with mortal and immortal people and they were ready to speak.
“But make no mistake about it again, I have ears and heard your message clearly. You should all come to my hometown, Alor in Idemili South local government area of Anambra State on Tuesday. I will make a pronouncement that day,” he added.
Speaking on the issue of consensus among the APC aspirants in the South-East, Ngige said the issue has not arisen, saying such discussion would come after the expression of interest and buying of forms.
He thanked the members of the APC South-East Progressive Forum from trooping out in large numbers to receive him and prayed God to honour them the way they honoured him.
Earlier, the spokesman of the group, Comrade Tony Chime, told Ngige that they trooped out to plead with his personality to join the race for the presidency.
Chime said they had screened many people presenting themselves for the post of president, but were yet to see the material wanted.
“We appeal to you, our father, brother and son to please come out and join the race. We know that it is the turn of the South and when it comes down South, we know that it is the turn of the South-East and you are eminently qualified to deliver,” he stated.