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2023: How Nwajiuba’s Resignation Sparked Presidential Order During FEC

Indications have emerged that the order of President Muhammadu Buhari to all his cabinet ministers seeking elective positions in the 2023 elections to resign on or before Monday 16, May 2022 was sparked by the resignation of Chief Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, TMSnews reports.

TMSnews gathered that tsunami struck as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday presided over by President Buhari was almost winding down.

During consideration of AOB on the agenda for the day, Hon Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education indicated interest to speak and was obliged.

Speaking with great confidence, he informed the council that today was his last day in the FEC, and he had come to thank Mr President again and all his colleagues in FEC for the opportunity to serve the country as a Minister.

He further informed the FEC that having decided to contest for the office of the President in 2023, he felt that it was only responsible for him to resign his appointment as Minister in line with his oath of office not to allow his personal interest to override his duty both to the President and Nigerians.

He maintained that it was his conviction to do what is right that necessitated his action to send in his resignation letter to the President since the 28th day of April,2022, which the President graciously approved on the 3rd of May, 2022, and that being his last FEC meeting, he felt it was good to use the occasion to thank the President and all his colleagues for what has been a great experience.

It was at that point that the President exclaimed, “what about others who are contesting? Everyone who has picked forms to contest election must resign on or before Monday the 16th of May, 2022”.

Some ministers who picked forms for other elective positions other than the Presidency now sought clarification from the President whether the instruction was only for those contesting for Presidency, the President thundered, no, all elective positions. We can’t afford to allow distractions in the few months we have to serve Nigerians.

Some ministers were visibly disconcerted about the turn of event, but the President is very firm on his position.

“There was also a fresh confusion among ministers. They were not clear or sure if this directive will affect other ministers aspiring to be governors, Senators and House of Representatives members.

“We have been expecting more clarifications. A minister later brought news that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu may clarify the status of ministers aspiring to be governors, Senators and House of Representatives members.”

Asked to capture the drama, a third source said: “The ministers were all transfixed with attention shifting to Malami, Onu and Ngige who were physically present at the meeting.

“With the SGF helpless, ministers formed clusters to discuss the decision of the President. No one could be of assistance to another other than to review the situation.”

A senior government official, who spoke with The Nation correspondent yesterday, said: “When cabinet members were confused, the Minister of Information and Culture went to seek clarification from the President. This was how he came about May 16.

“Mohammed was not on a self-seeking mission. He said what he was directed to say.

“The truth is that the directive applies to all ministers and appointees who want to contest for any elective office in 2023. It is not only presidential aspirants.”

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