As Buhari sends off ministers vying for positions, Malami and Ngige make a U-turn.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday dispatched his ministers who had expressed an interest in running for president and other offices while debating whether or not to quit.
At a brief ceremony held in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari bid farewell to outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, have reversed their positions.
According to reports, Buhari instructed Malami to abandon his bid for the governorship of Kebbi State and stay in the cabinet till 2023.
Ngige, on the other hand, declared his retirement from the presidential race, stating that he would rather stay a minister. All of this occurred just a few hours after they had attended the Villa’s send-off ceremony.
Three ministers had previously resigned: Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education; Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; and Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
According to the Daily Trust on Saturday, Buhari had to organise the event ahead of the FEC meeting in order for the political appointees to reconsider their decision to seek electoral seats.
The president indicated during the valedictory session that appointments would be made as soon as possible so that the business of governance would not suffer, since their departure had left a void that needed to be addressed.
President Buhari stated that a considerable number of them were adequately prepared to seek higher elected offices, including the presidency.
“I have no doubt that, like any other aspirant, if the next president is chosen from among former members of this administration, adequate competence and great service delivery would be on exhibit.” He stated, “This will be one of our legacies to Nigerians.”
At the last FEC meeting on May 11, 2022, the president, who praised the departing public officers for sacrificially serving the country “with dignity and honour,” directed that all ministers and other political appointees who aspire to run for elective office in the 2023 general elections should resign their current positions.
Ministers of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; science, technology and innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva; and Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige were among the outgoing members of the FEC who attended the valedictory session.
Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); Uche Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development; Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs; and Chief Tayo Alasoadura, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs
Nwajiuba, the Minister of State for Education, who had previously offered his resignation, was absent from the valedictory session.
On behalf of the departed ministers, Akpabio thanked the president for allowing them to serve and contribute their fair share to the nation’s development. He stated that once they move down, they will remain tremendous Buhari disciples.
Ngige promised to stay away from the All Progressives Congress’s “internal party processes” after announcing his resignation from the presidential election (APC).
“I took this significant decision first and foremost in the overall interest of the nation in order to enable me to concentrate on my job and assist the president and the government; and secondly, for other family considerations,” the minister said in a press release.