Minister of labour and employment Chris Ngige has announced his interest to contest the presidential seat.
His media office stated on Sunday that the minister had been consulting stakeholders in his All Progressives Congress (APC) party as well as stalwarts of opposition political parties.
He is scheduled to publicly declare his intention on April 19, the media office stated.
His declaration comes despite the lingering industrial action embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has seen federal universities grind to a halt.
Ngige’s media office added that he gave his explanation for consulting opposition political parties when he addressed his supporters at Amansea, a border town with Enugu State after visiting Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
The media office stated also that Ngige’s standpoint was informed by his belief that his aspiration had a cross-party appeal.
“I visited Enugu State governor as part of my nation-wide consultation. Even though he is in PDP, he is an Igbo man.
“He is a very realistic, discerning person. Don’t forget also that Enugu is the capital of the former Eastern Region. And you know that respect is reciprocal.
“Over the week, I also consulted some other Nigerians not allied to any political party. Therefore, I had to consult the Enugu State governor over my intention to contest and to seek his views too. He told me to kick the ball into the net,” Ngige was quoted as saying.
The minister said also that his antecedents, stewardship as a civil servant, governor, senator and minister stood him apart.