…AGF, Tallen attend FEC meeting
…Council observes a minute’s silence in honour of ex-minister, Ige
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed insists only President Muhammadu Buhari can decide the fate of the ministers who made a U-turn after reportedly resigning their appointments to run for political offices in 2023. Buhari last week held a valedictory session for 10 ministers after they declared interest in contesting the various positions.
They were the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Paulen Tallen; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige. Others were the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Tayo Alasoadura and Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Uche Ogah. But Ngige and Sylva, who expressed their interest in contesting the 2023 presidential election; Malami, who targeted to succeed Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, and Tallen out to contest a senatorial seat in Plateau State, stepped down their ambitions.
However, Malami and Tallen attended Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa amid the controversy surrounding their resignation from the Buhari government. While Malami was physically present Tallen attended virtually. Mohammed, who attended the FEC meeting yesterday, told reporters that he would clarify from Buhari whether or not Malami, Tallen and Ngige had been reabsorbed into the cabinet. He said: “I think you need to give me more time so that I can tell you exactly what the situation is. Right now, I need to cross-check. I need to confirm again from Mr President what the situation is.
I think you see the final decision on who is going, who’s coming back? Who’s not going lies with the President.” It was learnt that Ngige, who was not part of the meeting, is representing the country at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 5th Global Conference on the elimination of child labour in South Africa. Before the commencement of the meeting, a minute’s silence was held in honour of ex-Minister of Communications, Olawole Adeniji Ige, who died at 83.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha; Head of the Service of the Federation (HOCSF) Folasade Yemi-Esan; Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari and National Security Adviser Babagana Munguno attended the meeting. Among other ministers in attendance were Abubakar Aliyu (Power); Mohammed Bello (FCT); Hadi Sirika (Aviation); Isa Pantami (Communication and Digital Economy); Mohammed Abdullahi (Environment); Zainab Ahmed (Finance, Budget and National Planning); Babatunde Fashola (Works and Housing), and Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs).