These are cabinet members and key members of the Buhari administration who have been in campaign mode rather than paying close attention to their official duties.
The APC Professionals Forum has accused ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet of dereliction of duty as they focused on securing APC tickets to contest various positions in the 2023 general elections.
The APC forum described the presidential directive to cabinet members running for elective offices in 2023 to step down from office as a necessary move to ensure governance does not suffer ahead of the party’s primaries.
Akeem Akintayo, the forum’s national coordinator, said this in a statement while reacting to Mr Buhari’s directive at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The president had directed all cabinet members vying for elective positions in the forthcoming 2023 general elections to resign their appointments.
“We are aware that Section 84 of the Electoral Act has been contentious since the National Assembly voted to retain it, in spite of President Buhari’s request for the amendment. We are also aware that there had been several court cases on the issue, even though our party, the APC had given a timeline for political appointees seeking elective positions to resign,” noted the forum’s president.
The statement added, “In the midst of all these are cabinet members and key members of the Buhari administration who have been in campaign mode rather than paying close attention to their official duties. So we are elated that rather than allow all these to affect governance, the president has given a clear directive to all his appointees interested in running for various offices to resign on or before May 16.”
Mr Akintayo said this was a good move in line with democratic ethics and would ensure that there were no distractions in the run-up to the APC primaries slated for May 30 and June 1.
The forum, however, appealed to Mr Buhari to ensure that the outgoing cabinet members were swiftly replaced with competent hands.
It noted that judging from the number of ministers who had purchased nomination forms to contest elective offices in 2023, there was a possibility that at least nine key cabinet positions at FEC and many other MDAs would be left vacant.
“So since the Buhari administration has to be seen to be working till its last day in office, we expect that the president would move fast to replace the departing ministers,” explained the statement. “We therefore urge the president to replace the outgoing political appointees with competent professionals who are committed APC members, to be placed in the key positions that would be vacant in a few days time.”
The APC forum stressed that the last one year of Mr Buhari’s regime was crucial to the ruling party’s chances of continuing with its “winning streak in 2023 and beyond to be toyed with.”