Bukola Saraki, former senate president has called on ministers and other political appointees seeking electoral offices in the 2023 elections to resign before pursuing their ambitions.
The former senate president also criticised the request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the National Assembly to scrap section 84 (12) of the recently signed Electoral Act which bars government appointees from engaging in party conventions and congresses to elect new leaders or candidates, without resigning.
This was stated by Saraki while reacting to a question from our correspondent shortly after a meeting of the National Youth Leader of the PDP with the Zonal and State Youth Leaders at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
His reaction comes barely three days after the senate, last Wednesday, rejected Buhari’s request seeking the amendment of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act.
The bill had scaled the first reading on Tuesday, despite a court order barring the Senate from acting on it.
The request was rejected after Senator Yahaya Abdullahi made the lead debate for the second reading of the bill.
The Senators kicked against it; voting “no” when put to voice votes by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
Speaking about the amended electoral act which the President assented to on February 25, 2022, and his subsequent request for the National Assembly to expunge section 84(12), the former Senate President said there is no case for anyone to remain in an appointed office while contesting for an elective office.
“I disagree with that. I mean, why should someone in political office use the influence of political office to contest? We talked about participation of youths. What chance does the young Nigerian have to contest somebody who’s sitting in public office; has access to power by influence; has access to funds of government?
“If you want to contest, for heaven’s sake, go out, resign and go and contest? Why would you stay in political office? It’s even wrong for us to be debating it. It is so selfish.
“If you truly want to represent this country, why do you have to remain in political office? Step out and contest. And if we are talking about youths, we’re talking about people having an opportunity. What chance does a 25-year-old young man or woman have against somebody who’s a director in a government agency? We should not encourage things like these,” Saraki said.
Saraki noted that the new piece of legislation would empower Nigerians more than ever to seek and elect the right leaders.