Afraid of staying out of power, AGF Abubakar Malami has withdrawn from the 2023 Kebbi governorship race

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has withdrawn from the 2023 Kebbi governorship race.

The minister had on April 28 declared his intention to contest the governorship election on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, and thereafter submitted his N50 million nomination form on May 11.

Umar Gwandu, Malami’s spokesman, via a text message shared with newsmen on Saturday, confirmed the minister’s withdrawal.

He added that Malami did not resign as minister contrary to rumours.

“Attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, has not resigned. He withdrew his ambition to contest for the 2023 Kebbi state gubernatorial elections,” Gwandu said.

On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari had asked all members of his cabinet seeking elective office to resign on or before May 16.

The president bade farewell to outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at a brief ceremony held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.  

However, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, have made a u-turn. 

 Ngige  announced the withdrawal of his presidential ambition, saying he rather remain as a minister. All these happened a few hours after the send forth ceremony they attended at the Villa. 

It was learnt that Buhari had told Malami to shelve his ambition of vying for the governorship seat of Kebbi State and remain in the cabinet until 2023. 

Apart from Malami, other ministers seeking elective offices include Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Timipre Sylva, Pauline Tallen, Chris Ngige, Uche Ogah, Ogbonnaya Onu and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

Speaking on behalf of the outgoing ministers, Akpabio thanked the president for giving them the opportunity to serve and contribute their quota to nation building. He said that as they step aside they would continue to be great disciples of Buhari.

“May one of us succeed you in order to continue the good legacies you have laid on the ground. We have seen and known your vision. We know where you want the country to be,” he said.  

Announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race, Ngige promised to stay away from the “internal party processes” of the All Progressives Congress (APC).  

In a press statement, the minister noted, “I took this momentous decision firstly in the overall interest of the nation in order to enable me to concentrate on my job and assist the president and the government; and secondly, for other family reasons,” he said.

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