Following the rush into partisan politics by political appointees and civil servants under the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), has directed that interested candidates resign their appointment before going ahead with their political ambitions.
The directive which came from the FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello was contained in a circular PS/FCTA/589, dated 28th August, 2018, and 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 circular 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 personally signed by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, reads in parts: “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”.
It further states: “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.”
The circular further directed that, “those affected are expected to handover all government property in their custody to the Permanent Secretary, upon the submission of their letters of resignation. I wish to express the deep appreciation of the FCT Administration to the effected officers and to wish them success in their future endeavours.”
The document also read that, 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.”
It also stressed that, the timetable revealed that 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.
However, the timetable has fixed Presidential and National Assembly elections on 16th February, 2019, while those of the State Governors and House of Assembly are slated for 2nd March, 2019.
While the run-off to either the office of the President or Governor (if any) would take place within seven days of announcement of the result, in line with the constitution.