By David-Chyddy Eleke
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on Sunday provided food and cash gifts to vulnerable people in Anambra State as part of the ways to ameliorate the hardship caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
Ngige, who presented the cash and food items, totalling N15 million to the vulnerable persons in his hometown, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area, said the palliatives had nothing to do with stories making the rounds that he plans to run for the Anambra State governorship poll next year.
He said even though it was his constitutional rights to vie for any elective position of his choice, he had no intention to run for the governorship position as he is too busy with his national assignment as a minister.
He said: “Senator Chris Ngige Foundation had been in place since seven years ago, so it has nothing to do with the election next year. We are targeting 1,000 vulnerable households for his Covid-19 palliative distribution in the area.
“Whether you’re a member of APC or PDP, APGA, Accord, APA, PPP, or any other party, once you are vulnerable, you get. We started with my town. We will pan out to my local government, then to my entire senatorial district. We also intend to reach out to the church. If we don’t do it and Covid-19 kills all of us, what then will my foundation do?”
Reacting to speculations that he may run for the governorship position, Ngige said: “Yes, there have been speculations that I am eyeing the governorship of Anambra State. They have written about it in a lot of media. I am a politician. They have the right to speculate on my next move. My next move is very vast.
“Elections will come in 2023, I have a right to vie for any position. I can vie for Senate. I can vie for president if I so wish. Election will be coming in Anambra State, latest November 2021 to elect a successor to Obiano. I am not disqualified. I have a right to say I can run.
“I don’t have interest for now in Anambra governorship because I am on a national assignment. I am Minister of Labour and Employment of the federation and I am the chief conciliator of all labour disputes for now. And you can see that with the economy going into doldrums and shaking, the cynosure of all the effects of economic trouble is industrial disputes.
“Recognizing this, Mr President has put me in a committee to prepare Covid exit plan and we have subcommittees while I head the job creation committee, comprising Ministers of Industries, Agriculture, Works and Education.”