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Buhari orders Emefiele, other appointees with political ambition to resign

By Dennis Erezi
12 May 2022   |   8:26 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered all ambassadors, heads of government agencies, departments and parastatals seeking election in 2023 to resign their positions. Buhari gave the order in a circular issued by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). "The contents of this circular and the incidental directives take effect immediately," Mustapha said…

Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele speaks during the monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja, Nigeria May 22, 2018.<br />REUTERS/AFOLABI SOTUNDE

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered all ambassadors, heads of government agencies, departments and parastatals seeking election in 2023 to resign their positions.

Buhari gave the order in a circular issued by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

“The contents of this circular and the incidental directives take effect immediately,” Mustapha said in the circular.

The CBN governor Godwin Emefiele was copied in the circular, which was issued late Wednesday.

“Mr. President has observed and noted the expression of interest and intention by some members of the Federal Executive Council, heads of extra-ministerial departments, agencies, parastatals of government, ambassadors and other political office holders to contest the upcoming presidential, gubernatorial, national and state assemblies’ elections,” Mustapha said.

The president’s directive comes hours after an earlier one directing ministers to resign on or before May 16.

“Consequently, Mr. President has directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 general election, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, the 16th of May, 2022.

Earlier this week, Emefiele challenged his eligibility to run for the office of Nigeria president continuing as CBN governor in court.

Emefiele’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, earlier on Monday, urged the court to issue an interim order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from disqualifying him from participating in the primary election of his preferred political party.

But ruling on the ex parte application, the judge, Ahmed Mohammed, ruled that he would rather order INEC and the AGF to appear to state their side of the case instead of granting the CBN governor’s request.

Mustapha, however, noted that the president’s directive should be complied with by all appointed public office holders, including the CBN governor.

“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,” Mustapha said.

He said the order was necessary “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.”

Mustapha said Nigerian ambassadors in different countries are to 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,” Mustapha said.

“The contents of this circular and the incidental directives take effect immediately.”