President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his resignation notice to all public office holders in his administration who are seeking to contest in the 2023 elections.
This was disclosed in a circular with reference number SGF/OP/ I/S.3/XII/173 and titled, ‘Ministers, heads of government agencies, ambassadors and other appointees with political ambitions to resign’.
The new directive which is in line with the provisions of section 84(12) of the electoral act affects heads and members of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals of government and ambassadors.
What the SGF is saying
Mustapha in the circular said the President had directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 General Elections, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.
The SGF said for the smooth running of the machinery of government and the country’s foreign missions, the affected ministers are to hand over to the Ministers of State where they exist or to the Permanent Secretary, where there is no Minister of State, with the ambassadors expected to hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most Senior Foreign Service Officer in line with established practices.
The circular from the SGF reads in part, “For the avoidance of doubt, this directive affects all Ministers, Heads and Members of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals of Government, Ambassadors as well as other political appointees who desire to contest for elective offices.
“For smooth running of the machinery of government and our foreign Missions, affected Ministers are to hand over to Ministers of State where they exist or to the Permanent Secretary, where there is no Minister of State. Ambassadors shall hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most Senior Foreign Service Officer in line with established practices.
“Similarly, Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals are to hand over to the most senior Director/Officer as may be peculiar to the organisation, in line with the service-wide Circular No. SGF.50/S. Il/C.2/268 of 4th December 2017.’’
The SGF said the contents of the circular and the incidental directives, take effect immediately.
What you should know
Recall that on May 11, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) with the ambition of contesting for elective offices in the 2023 elections to submit their letters of resignation on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.
This new directive excluded the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, because he is an elected member of the cabinet.
Some of the Minister to be affected by this directive include the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, who have all declared interest to run for president under the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Others are the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, seat in Plateau State and the Minister of State Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar, and some others who have either Governorship or Senatorial ambition.
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