Niger Delta Affairs Minister Senator Godswill Akpabio is the latest political appointee serving under the Buhari administration to resign his position.
Akpabio who wants to be the next president of Nigeria promptly responded to a-get-the-hell-out-of-here-order issued by the President to persons who are contesting elections, but who have smartly remained pidgin-holed in the administration.
Recall that the President during Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting ordered cabinet members eyeing elective offices to quit before May 16.
Personal Assistant to the Minister on Media, Jackson Udom, who confirmed Akpabio’s resignation said: “the Minister has resigned. He has submitted his resignation letter to the SGF.”
Claims that Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation has turned in his letter of resignation which made the rounds largely in the social media earlier may not be as accurate.
There are news signs that the Lion of the Niger Delta as he is called is yet to submit his resignation.
“The Minister has not handed over his resignation to the SGF” said a source close to Amaechi, “It is ready. In principle, the Minister has already resigned so he can pay attention to his presidential bid.
“You know him, Amaechi has a way he does his thing. He does not leave anything to chance. I can tell you he has his letter of resignation ready.”
Wednesday, the Federal Government directed all those who are bidding for office at several levels to tender their resignation at once.
These appointees who are serving in government have up to the 16th of May, 2022 to voluntarily turn in their withdrawal papers.
Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, signed into law by the incumbent President, says that political appointees must resign their positions within a specific period before contesting any election in Nigeria.
A Court of Appeal has thrown out the ruling of the Umuahia High Court which deleted Section 84 from the Electoral Act, saying the trial judge erred in law when he chose to challenge the right of the legislature to make, or insert, Section 84(12) of the Act which binds elections in Nigeria.
Most political appointees have held onto the relevant sections of the constitution which guarantee the right of civil servants to resign within 30 days.
Until the inclusion of Section 84 – 12, there was nowhere that the law specifically mentioned political appointees.
The section which makes it compulsory for ministers and other senior appointees that are serving in government to quit office as soon as they contemplate an idea to vie for office would be remembered as a major product of the Buhari administration in terms of attempts to deepen the law.
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