Despite the directive from the governing body of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which directed ambitious appointees at federal and state levels to resign their offices a month to the party’s primaries, some ministers in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari eyeing elective posts in 2023 are yet to do so.
Their refusal to step down has also contravened the contentious Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, which also demands resignation before participating in primaries.
Here is a list of the ministers that have defied the party.
1. Rotimi Amaechi (Transport)
Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, the minister of transportation is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The former Rivers state governor and a strong chieftain of the ruling party is one of the few minister's to resign despite the APC directive.
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2. Chris Ngige, (Labour and Employment)
Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, in defiance to the directive by his party says he would not resign from office.
He said he was unaware of any law requiring him to resign to contest the presidential ticket of the APC at least, 30 days before the conduct of party primaries.
When reminded that the APC has asked all ministers to resign, he said:
“No, it’s not there. It’s not in the works at all. But I will make some consultation with the party, I will find out.
“I have not seen that pronunciation from the party. I have not seen any release from the party. It has not been conveyed to me or to anybody. I’m an aspirant, I’m a presidential aspirant. So I’ll find out and if it is true, I will then know what to do.”
3. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba (state education)
Minister of state for Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba who also declared his intention to contest for office of the president in the 2023 general election ruled out the possibility of resigning his position ahead of APC presidential primary.
“The resignation of a minister or anybody who is in office is guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are required to contest election if we want. We are required to resign 30 days before any election we choose to contest. That is the position of the law. Every other person can have an opinion."
4. Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, says he is interested in contesting the Kebbi state governorship election. A month to the party primary, the powerful minister is yet to obey the party with his resignation letter.
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Similarly a recent report by Legit.ng, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) also greeted the exorbitant price of nomination forms with criticism.
Reacting to the fee, the executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Rafsanjani describes the decision as shameful.
The CISLAC boss who was not pleased with the decision accused the party of attempting to sieve out women, youths and well-meaning Nigerians from participating in politics.