*All ministers, CBN Gov affected
President Muhammadu Buhari has exempted his deputy, who is running to succeed him next year, from an order he issued on Wednesday, warning all members of the cabinet and other political appointees aspiring to be president to resign in less than one week.
According to the Presidential directive issued after the Federal Executive Council, all members of the Buhari cabinet and appointees contesting for electoral offices are to resign on or before May 16, 2022.
Quest Times gathered that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is allowed to keep his position not only because he is an elected official, but an Aso Villa insider added that “this is the President’s first public indication of his support for the VP’s presidential aspiration.”
The order, which came at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja, was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Minister of information, Lai Mohammed, shortly after the meeting.
Osinbajo is not affected by this order because he was elected into office as vice president alongside President Buhari by the Nigerian people; while the members and appointees of Buhari’s cabinet were appointed to serve in their respective positions.
As such, having been elected into office as vice president, Osinbajo is exempted from this directive.
Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act states that “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”, while section 29(1) of the act mandates political parties to submit names of candidates not later than 180 days before the election.
However, at least eight cabinet members, who have declared their intention to run for president in 2023, will be affected by the President’s new directive. They include the Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba.
Others are the Justice minister and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who is to run for Kebbi State governorship position; Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar, who is running for the governorship position in Abia State; Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who declared her ambition to contest the senatorial seat in Plateau State.
The Central Bank Governor is also affected as a political appointee.