Some ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet who were asked to quit owing to their ambition to run for president in 2023 are doing a U-turn in order to save their positions.
President Buhari met with his departing ministers on Friday to express his gratitude for their service.
Earlier this week, the president issued an order requiring all political appointees who want to run for elected office to submit their resignation papers by next Monday.
According to reports, several of the impacted ministers returned to the president for a secret session and informed him that they were withdrawing their candidacy.
On May 13, 2022, President Buhari will greet outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council at the State House.
“They were caught aback by the president’s decision; they didn’t anticipate the president to take the actions he did,” a presidential source said.
“Some of them have returned to the president to request that they renounce their political ambitions and continue to serve in their existing capacity.”
Our correspondent was unable to confirm if President Buhari granted their request, but a source told us that at least four ministers had resigned from the presidential election.
Another source in the presidency who corroborated the incident stated that President Buhari is unlikely to demand on their resignation if they abandon their presidential aspiration.
“The President would let them to stay in service if they abandon their political aspirations,” the insider stated.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, released a press statement shortly after Buhari’s meeting with the ministers, announcing his retirement from the 2023 presidential campaign.
Ministers affected by Buhari’s resignation include: Uche Ogar, Minister of State for Mines and Steel; Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment; Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; and Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs.
Others are Goodwill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation; and Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
Except for former Minister of State for Education Emeka Nwajiuba, who resigned on April 28, all of the mentioned ministers attended the President’s valedictory session.