May 11, 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all cabinet members wishing to contest elective posts in the 2023 general elections to resign their appointments on or before Monday.
Those affected include Rotimi Amaechi, Timipre Sylva, Chris Ngige, Pauline Tallen, Emeka Nwajiuba, Abubakar Malami, among others.
Hours after the presidential directive, strong hints emerged that some of the cabinet members who had earlier served intent of contesting one position or the other may have a change of mind.
“Some of the cabinet members were banking on protection from the President and the constitutional provision which gives them cover up to 30 days to the election (not primary) but now, some are having a rethink and may renege on their ambitions,” a Presidency told our reporter.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: ” The mandate I have from the president is to announce that all members of the Federal Executive Council contesting for elective office must resign their ministerial cabinet appointments on or before Monday, the 16th of May, 2022.”
When asked if the directive affects the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is vying for the post of president, the minister said: ” The Vice President was elected, he was not appointed.”
On the fate of other political appointees like the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who had been linked with the contest for the presidency in 2023, the minister said the directive might be extended to non-cabinet members.
” As of this moment, the mandate I have is for members of the Federal Executive Council.
” Subsequently, it might affect other political appointees but that will be made known.
” If there is going to be any amendment or any inclusion, you will be informed in due course,” he added.
Those affected by the president’s order include Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio.
Others are Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu and Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba.
The ministers joined the presidential race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also included are the Ministers of State for Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar as well as Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, said to be running for governorship seats of of Abia and Kebbi respectively.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Paulline Tallen, who declared her ambition to contest for a senatorial seat in Plateau, is also expected to resign her appointment.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Wednesday, set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.