The All Progressive Congress (APC) has called on political appointees seeking elective positions during next year’s general election to resign before its primaries expected to hold later in May.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, made the call in an interview with Tribune on Friday. He said the party expects them to comply with the 2022 Electoral Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Section 84(12) of the legislation stipulates that appointees seeking elective offices are barred from participating in primaries or congresses except they step aside from their positions.
The afro-mentioned section which is now a subject of controversy over plots by the executive to erase it from the Electoral Act stipulates that: “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who have declared to succeed President Buhari is one of such appointees affected by the law. Others speculated to be interested but have not declared interest for elective positions include: Abubakar Malami, Attorney general of the federation; Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Chris Ngige, Labour and Employment minister and Chukuwemeka Nwajiuba, junior Minister for Education.
Speaking with the national daily, Mr Morka explained that the leadership of the party was hopeful that anyone holding appointive positions on the APC platform would submit himself to the provisions of the Electoral Act and dislodge himself from his current position before contesting for elective offices.
“The position of the party is consistent with the Electoral Act,” he said. “We are allowing our affected members who may have the intention of contesting the primaries to comply with the Electoral Act, as provided.
“The Electoral Act, however, does not stipulate the time frame by which individuals should resign their appointment prior to the primary. The party will simply follow the Electoral Act.
“Any member of the party who is on an appointive position, we will expect such individual to resign before our primaries.
“We are hopeful that they will comply at the right time and we are going to ensure that anyone seeking our ticket will not breach the Electoral Act,” he asserted.