Frontline presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday officially resigned his position in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Transportation to focus on his aspiration to contest for the 2023 presidency.
Amaechi’s resignation came on a day Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen, withdrew their presidential and senatorial bids.
In a statement issued by Amaechi Presidential Media Committee, APMC, in Abuja yesterday, Amaechi in his resignation letter, expressed profound gratitude to the President for considering him fit to serve in his administration.
He equally thanked Buhari for the enormous support given to him, which he said, was responsible for the tremendous record of achievements he made in the Ministry of Transportation over the last seven years.
The statement quoted Amaechi as saying in his resignation letter: “It is with mixed feelings that I tender my resignation as the Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the Presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
“Your Excellency, it has been a great honour and privilege serving as a member of your cabinet following your historic victory at the polls in 2015. Under your administration, the Ministry of Transportation has recorded significant achievements, made possible by your visionary support and commitment to ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.
“As I embark on the next phase of our mission to work towards a better Nigeria for all Nigerains, I humbly seek Your Excellency’s prayers, blessings and look towards to your continuous support and guidance.
“Your Excellency, whilst humbly seeking your kind consideration of my request please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”
Amaechi, the 56-year-old quintessential politician believed to be the most qualified among those aspiring to secure the ticket of the APC for the 2023 presidential election, is widely reckoned as the best performing minister in Buhari’s cabinet.
The kind of zeal and energy with which he carried on in his revolutionization of the transport sector was never seen in any previous Minister of Transportation in the country.
All the agencies under his direct supervision – Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, etc, have been remarkably transformed and repositioned for better performance and greater efficiency in their operations.
However, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has withdrawn from the presidential race in the All Progressives Congress, APC, and has returned to work.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored development at the ministry in Abuja, on Monday, reports that Mr Sylva withdrew having considered the enormous work at hand at the ministry.
A group, Northern Solidarity Group, had on May 9, presented the APC Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries.
The forms cost N100 million.
An official at the ministry, who chose to remain anonymous, said Mr Sylva withdrew from the race to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to achieve a robust oil sector.
“He 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.
Horatius Egua, senior adviser, media and communications to the minister, when contacted, confirmed to NAN that the minister was back to work.