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Ministers should resign before primaries – APC

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) expects serving ministers in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of President Muhammadu Buhari to resign their appointments ahead of the party’s presidential convention and other primaries for elective offices. 

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, made this declaration on Friday in an interview with Saturday Tribune. 

Investigation revealed that a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party has been fixed for Wednesday in Abuja where timetables for the presidential convention, National Assembly and governorship primaries would be released. 

By virtue of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, appointees of government seeking elective offices are expected to resign from their positions. Section 84 (12) says: “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”. 

Former governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, formally declared interest in the presidential ticket of the APC last weekend, in Port Harcourt. 

The governorship aspiration of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to succeed the incumbent governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, is an open secret. 

Aside from Amaechi and Malami, others in Buhari’s cabinet starting to make a formal declaration in the race to succeed their principal include Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Education, Chukuwemeka Nwajiuba and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio. 

Morka maintained that the leadership of the party was hopeful that anyone holding appointive positions on the APC platform would submit himself to the provisions of the Electoral Act and dislodge himself from his current position before contesting for elective offices. 

He said: “The position of the party is consistent with the Electoral Act. We are allowing our affected members who may have the intention of contesting the primaries to comply with the Electoral Act, as provided. 

“The Electoral Act, however, does not stipulate the time frame by which individuals should resign their appointment prior to the primary. The party will simply follow the Electoral Act. 

“Any member of the party who is an appointee, we will expect such individual to resign before our primaries. 

“We are hopeful that they will comply at the right time and we are going to ensure that anyone seeking our ticket will not breach the Electoral Act.” 

(Tribune)

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