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JUST IN: Ministers seeking elective offices to resign ahead 2023 elections

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Ahead of the 2023 general election, Ministers and other appointees serving in the presidency, who are vying for electoral offices, have been given five days grace to resign and hand over activities in their offices to the most superior officials.

The only member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) excluded from the new directives from President Muhammadu Buhari was the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is vying to become All Progressives Congress (APC) standard-bearer for the presidential election next year.

The directives were said to have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in compliance with the amended electoral act that prevented political appointees from seeking elective offices while serving under an administration in the country.

Some of the aspirants include the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele; the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipreye Sylva, Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba who have joined the presidential race on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Others were: The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who is vying for the governorship election ticket of APC in Kebbi State, Minister of State Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar, who is running for the governorship position in Abia State, and the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who declared her ambition to contest for the senatorial seat in Plateau State.

Buhari, who issued the directives during the weekly FEC meeting held on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, was said to have directed that they leave and commended them for services rendered while serving the federal government.

The President, as gathered, was angry that none of the ministers seeking elective offices including those that had declared to succeed him, were yet to announce their resignation except the minister of State for Education, Nwajiuba,  who is also seeking to rule the country.

He said: “I expect other members of this council seeking to be President to resign with immediate effect. I cannot understand the continued delay. since the electoral law does not allow your stay in office while seeking such”.

Announcing the President’s directives at a press briefing after the FEC meeting, Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohamed, affirmed that if there were any amendments or additions to this directive they would be made shortly.

The issue of the resignation or otherwise of members of the Federal Executive Council with Presidential and Other ambitions in the 2023 Elections has been raging for some time.

This especially became more pronounced following the controversy that surrounded the passage of the contentious section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

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