Five serving ministers in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari have obtained N100 million expression of interest and nomination forms and are jostling for position of their principal in 2023.
They are Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuba, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
During his declaration on Friday, Onu assured Nigerians that he would deploy his experience as a former governor and minister to address the gap in science and technology in Nigeria.
Onu, a former National Chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), said Nigeria could not develop without the development of science and technology.
The minister said, “We must produce many of the things we need and use as people. Nigeria must be self-reliant.”
Also in his declaration on April 9, 2022, Amaechi said he had successfully revived the moribund railways and “working tirelessly to create an integrated national transportation system that will positively impact our economy, trade, employment, business, and national cohesion.”
He said he wanted to consolidate on such achievements, adding that Nigeria required “a combination of experience and patriotic passion” which he claimed his 23 years of political experience offered.
In a similar vein, Akpabio who declared his ambition on May 4, 2022 promised not to allow Nigeria sink, saying he would bring restoration, dignity, respect and succour to Nigerians.
Akpabio said, “As Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, 88 road projects which would have been abandoned if not for the fear of forensic audit initiated by the commission was completed by contractors, saying his wealth of experience as governor and as minister qualifies him for President.
“You have heard a lot of declaration but this one is uncommon. It is not only a message of hope, positive continuity and of the Egyptians you see today, you will see no more
“It is a message of restoration, of your dignity, respect in the ECOWAS region and beyond. I am determined not to let our nation sink but drink from the deep well of experiences I have from service. I seek your nomination to become your President come 2023.”
Similarly, Nwajiuba, who declared on April 27 claimed that in the last 7 years, President Buhari had performed extraordinarily in terms of infrastructure and inclusive policies of reaching out to the poor – the feats on which the minister said he wanted to consolidate.
“A lot still is outstanding and needs to be done. Many of our citizens are still outside, hungry, unemployed. Many more are threatened by unwarranted and unnecessary internal security and economic challenges.
“Our calling today invites me to; take up a work path that builds on the solid foundations that have been laid thus far. Provide different paradigns for new challenges and provide the platform for a vista that accommodates subject experts to pull together forces to meet our Nations challenges.
“This is the path I propose to thread, having been properly schooled, experienced and tested in the last 30 years of active politics,” he added.
Declaring for the highest office in the country on April 20, Ngige said Buhari had not failed contrary to some people’s perception of the administration, noting that if given the opportunity to lead, he would be a president everybody would be proud.
He said, “I know the unproductive areas and the areas of waste in the public service. I see the energy in labour that has not been properly harnessed. I have seen the low hanging fruits in agriculture, the handicaps, the factors that militate against job creation, which is one of the mandates of my ministry, especially the inter-ministerial and inter agencies cooperation that is missing. I have seen our burgeoning population without a corresponding advantage in terms of improvement in GDP.”