What to know about Buhari’s ministers resigning to contest elections


On Friday, the Buhari administration organised a valedictory session for 10 of its ministers who are quitting their positions to pursue their political ambition.

Three of the ministers have already tendered their resignation letters.

Those who they organised the session at the State House, Abuja are the Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba. They are all running for president.

Others are the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah; Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen; the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Tayo Alasoadura.

Mr Nwajiuba was not in attendance.

Although, he attended the valedictory session, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, later withdrew from the presidential race.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, issued a directive to all appointees seeking nomination ahead of the APC primaries to resign on or before May 16.

The directive followed the decision of the Court of Appeal to dismiss a suit that challenged section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, which prohibits appointees from participating in a convention as a delegate or nominee

Below are the ministers who are leaving the Buhari’s cabinet to pursue their political ambitions:

Rotimi Amaechi

Mr Amaechi is the outgoing Minister of Transportation.

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He is seeking the ticket of his party to become its presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 election.

He is a former Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly and former Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

He was governor of Rivers State on the ticket of the PDP. But during his second term, he dumped the party for the APC. That was in September 2013.

He was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation.

Mr Amaechi was appointed minister by Mr Buhari in 2015 and reappointed in 2019

Godswill Akpabio

Mr Akpabio is also from the South-south geopolitical zone, the same zone as Mr Amaechi.

He served two terms as the governor of oil-rich Akwa-Ibom State from 2007 to 2015 on the platform of the PDP.

Like some other governors in Nigeria, he retired to the Senate in 2015 and emerged as Minority Leader in the 8th Assembly. In that same Assembly, he decamped to the ruling party, APC.

He was appointed minister in 2019 after that year’s election.

Timipriye Sylva

Mr Sylva is the outgoing Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

He was governor of Bayelsa State on PDP platform between 2007 and 2011. His attempt to get a second term failed.

The former governor is yet to formally declare to contest. However, a support group already presented him with the N100 million expression of interest and nomination forms.

He informed the group that he will declare after due consultations.

Tayo Alasoasura

Mr Alasoadura is seeking to contest for Ondo Central Senatorial district.

The former Commissioner for Finance in Ondo State was elected into the upper chamber in 2015.

In 2019, he was defeated by Ayo Akinyelure. After his defeat at the poll, he was appointed as minister of state for Niger Delta Affairs by Mr Buhari.

Pauline Tallen

Mrs Tallen is the women Affairs minister.

The former Deputy Governor of Plateau State was appointed Minister in 2019 by Mr Buhari, making that her second stint as a cabinet minister. In 1999, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo appointed her as Minister of Science and Technology.

She will be running against the Plateau State govenor, Simon Lalong, for the Plateau South Senatorial District seat.

Uche Ogah

The Minister of State for Mines and Steel is running for Abia State governorship.

In 2015, he lost the PDP govenorship primary election to Okezie Ikpeazu. Again, in 2019, Mr Ogah lost the main election to Mr Ikpeazu.

Abubakar Malami

Mr Malami is the outgoing Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He is contesting for the governorship seat of Kebbi State.

Mr Malami took a shot at the position in 2014, but lost to Governor Atiku Bagudu.

He was the legal adviser of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) founded by Mr Buhari and his political associates. CPC was one the parties that merged into APC.

Ogbonnaya Onu

Mr Onu, who hails from Ebonyi State, is the outgoing Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

He was governor of Old Abia State between 1991 and 1992 under the defunct National Republican Convention.

At the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999, he joined the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (APP) which later became the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). As its national chairman, Mr He led the party to the merger talks that led to the birth of APC in 2013.

He was appointed minister by Mr Buhari in 2015 and reappointed in 2019.

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba

Mr Nwajiuba, from Imo State, is the outgoing Minister of State for Education. He is running for president.

Mr Awajiuba was a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 under the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) and was re-elected into the House in 2019 under the platform of Accord Party before he was appointed minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He became a member of the House after the pronouncement by the FCT High Court Kubwa, which sacked Chike Okafor, Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State, and pronounced Mr Nwajuiba as the winner of the election.

However, the decision of the FCT High court was subsequently upturned by the Appeal Court and finally the Supreme Court. However, by then, Mr Nwajuiba was already a cabinet minister.

During his stint in the 9th House, he made a bid for the Speakership position but stepped down for the eventual winner, Femi Gbajabiamila

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