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Nigeria ministers with poll ambitions told to resign

Ishaq Khalid BBC News, Abuja

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered all his ministers who wish to contest in next year’s election to resign by Monday next week.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed told journalists at the presidential palace that Mr Buhari gave the directive during Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

The move could have an impact on the running of government given the high number of ministers likely to be affected by the decision – though the presidential spokesperson told the BBC its activities would not be affected.

Several ministers have already declared their intentions to be their party’s candidates in either presidential or gubernatorial elections:

  • Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general – gubernatorial ambitions in his home state of Kebbi
  • Rotimi Amaechi, transport minister – presidential ambitions
  • Chris Ngige, labour minister – presidential ambitions
  • Emeka Nwajiuba, deputy education minister – presidential ambitions
  • Ogbonnaya Onu, science and technology minister – presidential ambitions.

Women Affairs Minister Pauline Tallen is likely to be affected too as she wants to be a senator for her home state of Plateau.

However, the directive does not affect the president’s deputy Yemi Osinbajo – who is seeking the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party – as he is an elected official and not appointed.

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