Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education, has explained why he stepped down to join the 2023 presidential race before the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nwajiuba spoke on Sunday during an interview with Channels Television.
On Wednesday, Buhari, during a federal executive council (FEC) meeting, had asked all members of his cabinet seeking elective offices to resign on or before May 16.
During the FEC meeting, the president announced that Nwajiuba had earlier tendered his resignation letter.
The former minister was the first cabinet member seeking an elective position to resign.
Stating the reasons behind his action, Nwajiuba said it was out of respect for the oath of office and obedience to the guidelines of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As you come into the public office, the first thing you do is to read the oath of allegiance to the federal republic,” he said.
“In taking the oath, one of the things you ascribe to is to make sure that at no point would your engagements counter the objectives of the state.
“So that if there is going to be a conflict between your role as a person and your role in the conduct of your official engagement, you try to disengage.
“As soon as I made up my mind on the contest for the presidency of Nigeria in 2023 under the platform of my party — APC — and it became something that needed to be pursued, it became clear that we needed to determine what the requirements were and the party published its guidelines.
“In the guidelines, article 3(L) states clearly that public appointees will need to leave office 30 days ahead of the date of the primary.”
Asked when he tendered his resignation letter, Nwajiuba said he resigned on April 28, 2022, adding that he received his presidential nomination form on April 27.
When queried that his resignation was announced only a few days ago, the former minister said it is the “prerogative” of the president to make it public whenever he desires.