CBN governor, agency heads, ambassadors… Buhari directs appointees seeking elective offices to resign

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered political appointees in his administration, who are seeking to contest in the 2023 elections, to tender their resignation.

The president gave the directive in a circular issued on Wednesday night by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

The president’s directive comes hours after an earlier one directing ministers to resign on or before May 16.

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.


Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is among those affected by the directive and perhaps the biggest casualty.

“Mr. President has 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,” the document reads.

“Consequently, Mr. President has directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 general election, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, the 16th of May, 2022.


“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 contents of this circular and the incidental directives take effect immediately.”

Appointees include Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation (AGF) who is seeking to contest the Kebbi governorship; Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, who is running for president; and Chris Ngige, minister of labour.

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