Abiodun OBA


The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has withdrawn from the presidential race just as Pauline Tallen, Women Affairs Minister,  dropped her senatorial ambition in the 2023 election in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and have both returned to work.

Sylva was said to have withdrawn from the race having considered the enormous work at hand at the ministry.

The Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him to contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries.

An official at the ministry who chose to remain anonymous said Sylva, promised to consult the leader of the country and his political leaders the day he was presented with the form. He believes that concentrating on his work will attract more investments for the oil and gas sector.

“He has consulted and he believes that the challenges at the ministry and oil and gas sector are enough issues for him to begin to deal with now than going to pursue presidential ambition at the expense of the nation.

“The oil and gas sector is the mainstay of the economy and it is not like any other ministry somebody can just come in and take over.

“It requires some measures of time for the person to understand what is happening in the system. For the interest of the industry and the nation, he has decided to wave that personal ambition to see what he can contribute in the remaining part of President Buhari’s administration.

“The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is very critical and he wants to continue to make his own contribution to the day-to-day running of the country and support Mr President for robust achievements,” the official said.

In a related development, Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen has also dropped her senatorial ambition in the 2023 election.

In a statement in Abuja on Monday, Mrs Tallen said her decision was to enable her to focus on the foundation laid toward the advancement and realisation of gender equality in leadership positions in the country.

”With profound gratitude and great humility, I have decided to voluntarily step down from the Senatorial race sequel to the yearnings of Women and other well-meaning Nigerians who see the need for a strong voice for Women at the Senate having consulted widely with my family, well-wishers and supporters conscious of the role I play for Women in Nigeria today.

“So to all Nigerian women and young girls who have raised concerns as to what next, rest assured that I, Dame Pauline K. Tallen, OFR, KSG have not submitted any resignation letter.

“And therefore, it is my decision not to go ahead with this request but carry on as the Minister of Women Affairs,” she said.

According to her, President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the advancement of women necessitated the need for her to continue as the minister, which will aid in addressing challenges affecting women and children.

”Our nation has a long-standing commitment to overcoming the challenges that inhibit women from bringing about positive changes and the requisite impacts when given a place at the table of decision making.

”My appointment as the Minister of Women Affairs is indicative of this progress and I cannot lose sight of this opportunity,” she said.

The minister, therefore, expressed her appreciation to the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, her constituency and all well-wishers for their continuous support.

Recall that on May 8 Mrs Tallen announced that she will be vying for the Plateau South Senatorial seat in the 2023 general elections.

Plateau South Senatorial District covers six local government areas namely, Langtang North, Langtang South, Mikang, Qua’anpan, Shendam, and Wase.

Mr Buhari had on Thursday issued a directive to all appointees seeking nomination ahead of the APC primaries to resign on or before May 16.

The directive followed the decision of the Court of Appeal to dismiss a suit that challenged section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, which prohibits appointees from participating in a convention as a delegate or nominee.


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