As the 2023 general election date draws near, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has asked all political appointees including Commissioners, Special Advisers, and others in Lagos State seeking elective offices next year to resign.
Also directed by the governor to tender their resignation letters to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) were appointees seeking to be delegates for party primaries for elective offices in 2023.
The governor’s directive which was contained in a circular issued by the State’s Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, also ordered all appointees and civil servants eyeing elective offices and aiming to participate in party primaries as well as other political activities should resign before April 19th, 2022.
As stated in the directives released on April 14th, 2022, anyone aiming to contest for elective offices during the 2023 general election and still in office may be disregarding the governor’s directive.
Although the E-document with Ref No: CIR/HOS/’22/Vol.1/017 was made public on April 22nd, 2022, the governor stated that the move was in compliance with Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, which provides that political appointees aspiring to contest elections must resign their positions before the conduct of political party primaries.
“No political appointees at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election,” the section states.
Some of the appointees who may be resigning are Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Yetunde Arobieke, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Toyin Fayinka, Commissioner for Tourism, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, and others who have indicated their desire to contest for elective offices.
According to the circular: “It is hereby notified for general information, in line with the recently amended Electoral Act and provision of rule 040524 of the Lagos State Public Service Rules (2015), that Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, has approved the release of all political appointees who are delegates to the state House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate, Governorship and Presidential primaries election, including those who are holding positions in the party as well as public servants who may wish to engage in partisan political activities or seek elective offices.
“Accordingly, all persons seeking elective offices are required to put in their letters of resignation. Similarly, letters of resignation by all other categories of political appointees and public servants should be submitted no later than 19th April, 2022.”
The governor noted that civil servants were required to comply with standard procedures as provided in the public service rules (2015).