A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has condemned calls by some members of the party on the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige to resign from office for not declaring public support for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Recall that the Labour Minister had during a television programme refused to disclose the presidential candidate that would get his vote during next year’s poll.
But, Eze, who is also a member of APC Legacy Projects Media Team and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) that merged with APC, decried such calls, saying that the sentiment could only be the handiwork of sycophants and people with a very poor grasp of the true essence of democracy that is deeply rooted in freedom of choice.
While remarking that Ngige’s input and sacrifices to the formation of APC and towards the growth of our nascent democracy cannot be overemphasized, Eze commended Ngige for his courage.
He expressed excitement that President Muhammadu Buhari does not pay attention to issues as trivial as the call for a Minister’s sack on grounds of the exercise of a right, which is private and exclusive to his aide, like every private Nigerian.
“In a democracy like Nigeria, people worth their salt can barely veer into the personal concerns of others, particularly to the extent of asking for the resignation or sack of a serving Minister for merely making his mind bare on what to do with his ballot paper, which is within his exclusive preserve as a private citizen.
“What did Ngige actually say to warrant such a foolish suggestion? While answering a question of who amongst Bola Tinubu of APC and Peter Obi of Labour Party he will likely vote for in the 2023 presidential election.”
“I wonder if those making such insinuation will want Dr Ngige to say that he will vote for Tinubu on national TV so that he will no longer be safe in his community or that he will vote for Peter Obi so that those who don’t like him will then ask for his sack. But, Dr Ngige, being a great thinker shocked them by stating that his conscience will determine how he will vote come February 2023. So, whoever doesn’t like his answer should deal with it.
I must salute Dr Ngige for who he is and the level of wisdom he displayed in answering such a very controversial question. Let the candidates take their sermons to the electorates and whoever wins the heart of the majority of the electorates wins the election”, Eze declared.
The APC stalwart noted that since the campaigns have begun, every effort should be made to ensure that the competition for votes is based on issues and not sentiments.
He stated: “Citizens are allowed to extensively assess the plans, policies and programmes of each candidate canvassing for their votes to know who merits their support and any candidate who is able to convince the people to believe in his plans of action wins the election.
“That is the beauty of democracy and Nigerians should be happy over the progress we are making in the journey to strengthen democracy in our body polity.”