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Timipre Sylva, another APC presidential aspirant, withdraws from race •Pauline Tallen ends senatorial bid

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Timipre Sylva and Pauline Tallen

ABUJA – There seems to be no end to the game of musical chairs in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as another presidential aspirant, Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, has withdrawn from the presidential race.
Earlier on Monday, Dame Pauline Tallen had opted to remain in the Federal cabinet as Minister for Women Development and jettisoned her earlier aspiration to run for Senate. She is an indigene of Plateau State.

In a statement she signed and released on Monday, she said: “I remain resolute as I continue to relish the opportunity to serve Nigerian Women in my capacity as Minister of Women Affairs under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. Consequently, I wish to inform you all that following broadbased consultations and interventions from critical stakeholders, I have decided to withdraw from running for the senatorial seat mindful of our accomplishments and the notable progress we have recorded under my stewardship at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs. Above all, as we celebrate our modest achievements, we are also conscious of the opportunities and achievements yet to be harnessed for Nigerian Women under this administration.”

Timipre Sylva, on his part,  reportedly returned to work today (Monday), the last day given by President Muhammadu Buhari to all political appointees aspiring for elective political office to quit his cabinet and pursue their ambition.

Recall that the Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination forms 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 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.

Meanwhile, Mr. Horatious Egua, Senior Special Assistant to the minister on media, when contacted, confirmed to New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the minister was back to work.

Sylva will be the fourth aspirant and minister to make a U-turn after attending a valedictory session organised by President Muhammadu Buhari to bid them farewell

Both the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who purchased form to contest the governorship of Kebbi State have all made a U-turn after President Buhari gave them the marching orders to quit his cabinet.

Today, Monday, May 16, was the deadline given them to resign.

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