Network for Best Practice and Integrity in Leadership (NEBPRIL), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack all political appointees who declared intention to leave his government on account of 2023 political ambitions, in order to avoid unnecessary distractions and conflict of interest in the remaining days of his administration.
NEBPRIL described the withdrawal of resignation letters by some ministers who had earlier resigned from the cabinet to pursue political aspirations as unethical, deceitful and self-serving.
It said further that President Buhari should be wary of such characters and intent of those appointees, as their decision to remain in his government in such controversial circumstances, may not be borne out of patriotism or a true desire to serve, but a deceitful ploy to pursue self interest that might hurt the integrity and productivity of the government.
The group commended the President for the courage to ask those that wanted to contest the coming 2023 elections to leave his government before May 16, 2022, a directive that subsequently forced many of the appointees who had been grandstanding that they were at Liberty to keep their appointments while still junketing about in pursuit of their political ambitions, to resign last week.
In a statement by NEBPRIL in Abuja, on Sunday, May 15, 2022, signed by its Chairman, Victor Afam Ogene, a former member of the House of Representatives, the civil society group reiterated that it was sheer deceit for public officials to play hanky panky with their otherwise positions of trust.
“The earlier refusal to resign, or the selfish and shameless withdrawal of resignation and recanting of political ambitions by some of the ministers and other appointees, do not only offend the sensibilities of the people, it’s also a clear violation of the provisions of the Nigerian constitution. And this must not be allowed to stand, as it would amount to enabling unethical practice, bad behavior and impunity in our democracy and governance in Nigeria.
“Section 306 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that ‘The resignation of any person from any office established by this Constitution shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the authority or person to whom it is addressed or by any person authorised by that authority or person to receive it.’
“So, until the affected ministers are reappointed by the President as required by section 147 of the Constitution, and their names submitted to the Senate for fresh screening and confirmation, they remain impostors and should not carry out any responsibility on behalf of government. That’s the law and we must learn to obey and protect our laws in order to deepen our democracy.”
Ogene queried: “What did the affected ministers leave in government that they want to go back to fetch? Are they recanting their political ambitions based on conviction, or is this a ploy to recoup the huge political expenses they had incurred, as many of them had already distributed branded exotic cars to oil the wheels of their aborted political aspirations? Some others have coerced kith and kin, captains of industry and desperate political contractors to raise funds, ostensibly in pursuit of their wilfully terminated aspiration.
“Would it not be tantamount to grand advance fee fraud, to deceitfully take money from hapless citizens, when they knew, ab initio, that they won’t run a full race?
“Do they consider the sensibilities of the people who their actions may be offensive to, or do we take it that they don’t care about public perception of themselves and the government they serve?
“We think it’s high time government appointees stopped taking Nigerians for granted,” NEBPRIL said.