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Tension As Buhari’s Ministers, Others Miss APC Resignation Deadlines



Amaechi Malami Ngige

There is tension as some ministers of President Muhammadu Buhari who have expressed intention to contest in the 2023 general election have refused to resign from their position.

The likes of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and the Minister of Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba have declared for presidency.

While the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Sampson Ogah, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami have governorship ambitions.

However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had directed ambitious appointees at federal and state levels to resign their offices a month before the party’s primaries.

While political appointees at the state level have complied, appointees at the federal level have refused to quit.

The president has refused to react to their decision to stay in office despite their political ambitions.

The governorship primary of the ruling party will hold 17 days from now.

With the presidential primaries of the APC fixed for May 30 through May 31, the ministers have breached the guidelines of the party.

Nwajiuba in his reaction said, “The resignation of a minister or anybody who is in the office is guided by the constitution to contest elections.

“My position is that the law of the country rests on the grundnorm called the constitution. If you do not like the constitution, your work is to amend it. There is no subrogation of power that is required for you to include into a law what is not deemed as included in that law.” 

He was referring to the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which requires those in public service to retire 30 days before the election they seek to participate in.

The minister’s refusal to step down has also contravened the contentious Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, which also demands resignation before participating in primaries.