The Federal Government has issued a circular directing serving ministers in the cabinet, heads of government agencies, ambassadors and other political appointees of the administration, nursing political ambitions in 2023 to resign from the government.
The circular, dated May 11, 2022 with Ref. No.SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/173, a copy which was sighted by The Lawyer, was issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
The circular was addressed to all serving ministers, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, National Security Adviser, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service and heads of extra-ministerial departments, Directors-General/Chief Executive Officers of parastatals, agencies and government-owned companies among others.
In the circular, Mustapha said President Muhammadu Buhari had observed and noted the expression of interest and intention by some members of the Federal Executive Council, Heads of Extra-Ministerial departments, agencies, parastatals of government, ambassadors and other political office holders to contest the upcoming Presidential, Gubernatorial, National and State Assemblies’ elections.
He said the President had directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 General Elections, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.
The SGF said for smooth running of the machinery of government and the country’s foreign missions, the affected ministers are to hand over to the Ministers of State where they exist or to the Permanent Secretary, where there is no Minister of State.
Also all ambassadors are to hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most Senior Foreign Service Officer in line with established practices.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this directive affects all Ministers, Heads and Members of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals of Government, Ambassadors as well as other political appointees who desire to contest for elective offices. For smooth running of the machinery of government and our foreign Missions, affected Ministers are to hand over to Ministers of State where they exist or to the Permanent Secretary, where there is no Minister of State. Ambassadors shall hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most Senior Foreign Service Officer in line with established practices.
“Similarly, Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals are to hand over to the most senior Director/Officer as may be peculiar to the organisation, in line with the service wide Circular No. SGF.50/S. Il/C.2/268 of 4th December, 2017,” the circular said.
The SGF said the contents of the circular and the incidental directives, take effect immediately.
The latest directive, which is in line with the provisions of section 84(12) of the electoral act, expects all affected persons to resign from their offices on or before Monday.