Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has cautioned political appointees on the platform of the APC not to play a hide-and-seek game over the presidential candidate of the party, saying they either campaign publicly in support of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ticket or immediately resign their appointments from the party-led administration.
Ajaka said this following comments made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige on a national Television programme, Politics Today, on Friday, October 7, 2022. Ngige failed to publicly affirm his choice of presidential candidate between Tinubu and Peter Obi of the Labour party, LP, when he was asked to do so by the presenter.
According to Ngige, such a question is difficult to answer because both Tinubu and Peter Obi are his friends.
“My choice will be in the ballot box, on the day of the ballot I will make my choice. I won’t tell Nigerians what I will do secretly…”
Recalled that the Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike, had earlier alleged that some appointees of APC were working for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Reacting to the comments made by Ngige, Saturday through a statement, the APC deputy spokesperson described such comments from a sitting Minister in a government of the ruling party as “uncalled for.”
While describing Senator Ngige’s comments on a national TV programme as an anti-party activity, Ajaka 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 with 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 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.”
According to Ajaka, if such a trend is allowed to continue among the appointees and party leaders, it is capable of generating bad blood among APC rank and file.
While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the cabinet members to order and obtain their commitments to delivering APC in 2023, Ajaka wondered that “With this type of public comment from a sitting minister in a ruling party who cannot declare on national television his choice of a presidential candidate, how on earth is the party expected to fare in the forthcoming presidential election?