Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Following the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that members of the Federal Executive Council seeking elective positions in the 2023 election should resign on or before May 16, 2022, a number of his Ministers have resigned their appointments.
Ikengaonline earlier reported that three ministers had resigned; but further enquiries have revealed that no fewer than five out of the nine Ministers with political ambition in 2023 have complied with the presidential directive.
Information Minister, Alhaji Lia Mohammed, disclosed after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that President Buhari had given May 16, for all the affected Ministers to comply.
Ministers who have so far complied with the directive include: Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba who is aspiring to succeed Buhari; his Transportation counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi, also seeking to take over from Buhari; and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, also in the presidential race.
Others are the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who declared her intention to contest for the senatorial seat in Plateau State; and the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who is also gunning for the presidency.
While the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige had reportedly said he would consult with Buhari before deciding on whether or not to tender his resignation, the resignation of the Minister for Justice and the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami, is still shrouded in secrecy.
It is yet to be confirmed if the Mister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, who wants to take over as Abia Governor in 2023 has resigned.
The Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, is also said to be under pressure to resign.
Our findings revealed that other appointees of the President with political ambition are besieging the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to submit their resignation letters.
The development according to Ikengaonline checks is not unconnected with the position of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that any aspirant serving in Government must present his/her resignation letter or be screened out of the race.
“From all indications, the party will ask appointees to come with resignation letters and letters of acknowledgement. All those who refuse to resign will just be setting themselves up for disqualification.
“At this point, it will be safe for anyone who is an appointee to just resign whether you are a minister or not. I am sure the APC will be issuing a statement anytime from now on the matter,” a top APC source said.
On the fate of the CBN Governor, a top Presidency source revealed that a circular might be issued today from the Office of the SGF for him and other political appointees with political interests to throw in the towel.