Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Buhari yet to fill cabinet positions one month after resignation of ministers

At least eight ministers had resigned to contest the just concluded primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

• June 14, 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

With the vacuum created by their resignation, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to fill the position of the ministers who resigned to contest the 2023 general election. 

At least eight ministers in the cabinet of Mr Buhari had resigned to contest the just concluded primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The ministers are: Rotimi Amaechi, Transportation (Rivers); Godswill Akpabio, Niger Delta Affairs (Akwa-Ibom); Ogbonnaya Onu, Science, Technology, and Innovation (Abia); Paulen Tallen, Women Affairs (Plateau).

Others are Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, State for Education (Imo); Uche Ogah, State for Mines and Steel Development (Abia) and Tayo Alasoadura, State for Niger Delta Affairs (Ondo). 

Mr Buhari had during a Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, asked that the members vying for elective public office resign their positions.

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

Peoples Gazette gathered on Tuesday that since the resignation of the affected cabinet members and ministers, their portfolios have remained vacant. 

Section 147 (3) of the Constitution requires that the President “appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State”.

The country has 36 states and FCT, Abuja; meaning that there should be at least 37 ministerial nominees, who would represent each of the states and the FCT.

It was not immediately clear if Mr Buhari would appoint a replacement for the affected ministries before the 2023 general election. 

Two presidential sources who spoke to The Gazette, said Mr Buhari was not under any pressure to appoint new helmsmen to fill the vacant ministries. 

“So, the President is less concerned about that for now and the election is just a few months by the way. We have to prepare,” one of the sources said. 

In 2015, when Mr Buhari was first sworn into office, it took him over six months to appoint his ministers. When he eventually did, some dead people made the list of appointees. 

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