Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all members of his cabinet nursing political ambitions to resign their current appointment, according to the information minister, Lai Mohammed.
“The mandate I have from the president is to announce that all members of the Federal Executive Council contesting for elective office must resign their ministerial cabinet appointments on or before Monday, May 16, 2022,”
Information Minister Lai Mohammed, told journalists in the capital, Abuja, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Mohammed specified that the instruction excludes Vice President Yemi Osinbajo because he was elected alongside Buhari.
The directive came after an appeal court sitting in Abuja ruled that a section of the amended electoral act passed this year, was unconstitutional.
The clause prevents political appointees at any level from being “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”.
The appellate court held that the provision was “unconstitutional” because it denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in elections.
Asked if the directive would be extended to other federal appointees outside the cabinet like the central bank governor who is attempting an unprecedented presidential run, Mohammed said only ministers of the administration are asked to resign.
At least five members of the cabinet are seeking to succeed Buhari, whose second term in office ends in 2023, as president on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
They include Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi and Labour Minister Chris Ngige.
Abubakar Malami, justice minister and attorney general of the federation, is interested in the governorship position for the northwestern state of Kebbi.
A visibly angry President said he had received the resignation of Nwajiuba seeking to be President.
Buhari singled the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, who tendered his resignation long before President Buhari’s order to cabinet members with political ambition to quit his government.
He said: “I expect other members of this council seeking to be President to resign with immediate effect.”