By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, Saturday directed all employees and appointees of the administration who have political ambition ahead of 2019 and want to vie for positions to as a matter of urgency, throw in the towel.
According to the Minister in a circular made available to staff, it has become imperative for them to resign their respective positions before they contest for any elective position.
The notice came because of rush into partisan politics by political appointees and civil servants under the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), including the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
The directive which was contained in a circular PS/FCTA/589, dated 30th August, 2018, was made available to Executive Secretary, FCDA, Chief of State to the FCT Minister, Secretaries of Mandate Secretariats and Senior Special Assistants for onward circulation to the entire workforce.
It was also made available to all Directors in the FCTA and FCDA, Special Advisers (Community Relations), Special Assistants, Heads of FCT parastatals and agencies.
The circular which was persoally signed by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, read in part: “You may wish to note that in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010, (as amended), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
“Consequently, the Honourable Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has directed political appointees and other employees in the Federal Capital Territory Administration who wish to seek elective positions to formerly resign from their current positions to enable them pursue their political ambitions.
“Those affected are expected to handover all government property in their custody to the Permanent Secretary, upon the submission of their letters of resignation.
“Finally, I wish to express the deep appreciation of the FCT Administration to the effected officers and to wish them success in their future endeavours.”
A photocopy of the INEC timetable which was attached to the circular indicates that the “tenure of the President, Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors of States of the Federation (except Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Osub States) will expire on the 28th day of May, 2019 while Members of the National and State Assemblies will stand dissolved on the 8th day of June, 2019.”
The timetable also added: “elections to the said offices shall hold not earlier than One Hundred and Fifty (150) days and not later than Thirty (30) days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of that office.”
Consequently, the timetable has fixed Presidential and National Assembly elections for 16th February, 2019, while those of the State Governors and state Houses of Assembly are slated for 2nd March, 2019.
Run-off to either the office of the President or Governor (if any) would take place within seven days of announcement of the result, inline with the constitution, it stipulates.