According to Daily Sun, Ngige said:
“When he finishes serving, he will come. I’m sure. He is a pragmatist, he is a realist. I have tried to let him know that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is good, but it’s a regional party. You can’t use a regional party to go and do election and fight.
“People have abandoned the idea of regional parties. That’s why AD, AC decided that after many years of staying at the periphery of Federal Government, they decided to coalesce with LPP; CPC and rebel faction of APGA, led by Rochas Okorocha and formed APC.
“So, regional parties are not in vogue and the governor knows. Even his predecessor, Peter Obi, when he was using APGA to canvass and do other things, it dawned on him that he cannot be playing in the region with a regional party.
“He can’t come to national with a regional party and that is why he unceremoniously defected. In fact, they started the defection you are seeing today. Obi is part of the early defectors.
“So, he joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but Obiano is a progressive. Any day he will do it, we will sit with him and arrange it in such a way that the Igbo will go into a party that will reckon with them and that party is APC.”
Speaking further, Ngige insisted that supporting re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari remained the best bet for the South-East to produce the Nigerian president in 2023.
Ngige said President Buhari and the APC would have the moral grounds and basis of equity to support a president of South East extraction, if the zone gives him and the party full support in 2019 general election.
The minister warned the zone against making the mistake he claimed they made in 2015 when, according to him, they put all their eggs in one basket of the PDP against his advice and turned back to cry of marginalisation.
“All I’m saying in effect is that the Igbo of the South-East must do political engineering and the step to take is to support the Buhari presidency for 2019 and vote for it with all their strength. Because by so doing, they will not be left out in the power sharing that will come thereafter.
In a swift reaction to the minister’s claims, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba has said nothing will make Governor Obiano leave APGA, adding that both APC and PDP have failed Nigerians as they had nothing tangible to offer.
“Governor Obiano is what the great Zik of Africa would refer to as the “beautiful bride” wooed by every confident suitor. He is wanted by all the parties because of his record and brand of politics devoid of bitterness and primordial cleavages.
“But, he is not going anywhere. He is an APGA man, through and through. He is strongly backing a candidate who all Nigerians expect to win the presidential election.”