…as Nwajiuba, Onu, Akpabio quit govt
. Amaechi, Malami to follow soon
. President’s resignation order excludes VP Osinbajo – FG
Few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari’s Wednesday directives to all members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) running for elective offices to resign by Monday, next week, some ministers have taken the bulls by the horns to quit government almost immediately.
With Buhari’s order, no fewer than nine ministers will battle with the option of either resigning or shelving their political ambitions.
But the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who conveyed the President’s directives during Wednesday’s FEC meeting, had clarified that it excludes Vice President Yemi Osinbajo because he’s an elected cabinet member.
Osinbajo is one of the front line presidential aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The Minister, however, informed that if there were any amendments or additions to the President’s directives, they would be made later.
Mohammed further noted that the directive might affect political appointees, if the arises.
As of last night, three of the cabinet members affected by the President’s directives, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, have submitted their letters of resignation from Buhari’s cabinet.
The others, including Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who has indicated interest in contesting for governorship ticket of the ruling APC in Kebbi State as well as Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment) and Timipre Sylva (Petroleum Resources), are expected to throw in their resignation letters any moment from now.
Although Amaechi, Malami, Ngige and Sylva have remained mum on the matter, their resignation from government is just a matter of a short time as the presidential order has not excluded them like Osinbajo.
Like Malami, Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogar, is also gunning for the APC governorship of his home states of Abia. He has also yet to resign his appointment as of last night.
Similarly, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, had declared her ambition to contest for a senatorial seat in Plateau State.
Aside from the ministers, some heads of Federal Government agencies
are also contesting for elective positions.
Some of those in this category are the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who may also be contesting for the position of president in 2023; the Director- General of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM), Abbas Masanawa and the Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dikko Umar Radda, among others.
President Buhari’s appointees had before now been relying on the judgement of the Federal High Court, Umuahia, Abia State, which nullified Section 84 (12) of the 2022 Electoral Act, which barred them from participating in political parties’ primaries or conventions while serving as ministers.
But the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, set aside that judgement, declaring Section 84 (12) unconstitutional.