Despite various unresolved crises in their ministries, five ministers under President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration have joined APC presidential race, declaring their interest to replace their boss in the coming 2023 presidential election.
These ministers who have spent at least three years in office tossed their hats in the ring in the middle of crises of national concern.
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In this piece, Daily Trust briefly highlights some of these ministers
The former two-term governor of Rivers State is one of the seven ministers who have picked the APC presidential nomination forms.
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Amaechi wants to run for the president despite the ongoing crisis in the transportation sector, including the Abuja-Kaduna train attack that resulted in the killing of at least 9 passengers and abduction of dozens who are still in captivity.
The minister declared to run for president while the victims’ families grieve over the loss of their loved ones and are uncertain of the fate of those in captivity. The Abuja-Kaduna train transportation has also yet to resume service though the bombed rail tracks were said to have been fixed.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, also joined the race for the presidential seat amid unresolved disputes between labour and the Federal Government. Ngige declared for presidency months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) declared warning strike.
Ngige had, in an interview with Silverbird Television, blamed ASUU leadership for the prolonged industrial action which has kept public universities under lock and key since February 14.
The minister also described ASUU leadership’s attitude to the conciliation efforts as “uncooperative and anti-labour.”
Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has also joined the presidential race amidst turbulent crisis. The funny thing about the case of Sylva is that the forms were presented to him at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Towers, while there was a long queue in front of a filling station adjacent the place.
Residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been spending sleepless nights just to get fuel. To worsen matters, the aviation industry is in the middle of a major crisis, which almost led to the grounding of flights nationwide. Airline operators had protested the skyrocketing price of Aviation fuel, which reportedly hit N700 per litre recently.
Inadequate supply of fuel and price volatility have been significant sources of disruption to flight schedules in Nigeria in recent times.
Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, declared his intention to contest for Office of the President, while also ruling out the possibility of resigning his position ahead of the APC primaries billed for May 29 to May 30, 2022.
The minister said it didn’t make sense for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to continue to earn salaries while on strike.
The union, had on May 3 through its chairperson at the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Socrates Ebo, challenged Nwajiuba to explain to Nigerians how he came about N100 million to purchase the APC expression of interest and nomination forms.
Like his colleagues, Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, is also in the presidential race. A two-term former governor and ex-Senator also joined the race at a time of crisis in his ministry. Oil theft is one of the biggest issues that the current administration is facing.
Last month, Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, told the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), that in the first four months of 2022, Nigeria lost crude oil worth $1.5 billion to vandals.
Vandalism is a major problem in the Niger Delta region, which Akpabio’s ministry oversees.