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Women affairs minister withdraws from Plateau senatorial race

By Esther Kalu

Following the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari for contesting ministers to resign, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has announced her withdrawal from the Plateau State senatorial race ahead of the general elections in 2023.

Tallen, who initially announced to contest for the Plateau South senatorial seat in the National Assembly and picked the expression of interest and nomination forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said that her decision was followed by broad-based consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders and the need to retain notable accomplishments recorded under her service at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

She promised to take the perspective to support more Women across all political spheres at this time and that she was confident in the advocacy to get more women to participate in politics, in order to close up gender gaps in the country.

The minister through a statement released on Monday, in Abuja, commended Nigerians for believing in her capability to contest for the senatorial seat but for cogent reasons she voluntarily decided to step down from the senatorial ambition.

She said: “With profound gratitude and great humility, I have decided to voluntarily step down from the senatorial race sequel to the yearnings of women and other well-meaning Nigerians who see the need for a strong voice for women at the Senate, having consulted widely with my family, well-wishers and supporters, conscious of the role I play for women in Nigeria today,” the minister said.

“So, to all Nigerian women and young girls who have raised concerns as to what next, rest assured that I, Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG have not submitted any resignation letter and therefore, it is my decision not to go ahead with this request but carry on as the Minister of Women Affairs.”

As gathered, she was one of the 10 ministers President Muhammadu Buhari had directed to resign if they must contest for any political office in the 2023 elections. Apart from Tallen, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as well as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, have also pulled out of the Kebbi State governorship election and presidential race respectively.

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