The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has warned ministers and other political appointees who intend to contest in the 2023 elections, that they pose a risk to their parties and themselves if they do not resign now. He made this warning in a Channels TV interview, yesterday.
The speaker based his warning on Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022. The section, which was signed by the President Muhammadu Buhari states that, “No political appointee at any level shall be a 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.”
Gbajabiamila said, “There are a number of people who have been mischievous. Some appointees have resigned their appointments to seek election, while there are some who remain obstinate, for want of a better word.
“Under the amended Act, there is a court decision pending that says there is no provision on this and during our conversation, we have said that the adjudication by the court should not be executed as of yet. Then there has also been an appeal by the National Assembly to set it aside.
“So invariably, it is a personal decision they have to make. Therefore the risk they run at the end of it all, if the court does find that the National Assembly was well within its rights to make such a provision that you are contesting an election while still a political appointee, then you are on a very serious risk of losing your election bid and not only that, you as a person also put the party you belong to at risk.”
Four ministers serving under the Buhari administration have declared their interest to contest in the 2023 elections without resigning. They include the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; and the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.