Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has resigned from his position the presidency confirmed on Friday.
Sylva resigned ahead of the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Bayelsa State next month.
The juniour petroleum minister tendered his resignation on 14th March 2023, in a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, titled ‘Resignation as Honourable Minister Of State’.
Nigerian Electoral Act 2022 prohibits political appointees from contesting in elective positions while they are still in office.
The Electoral Acts gives 30 days of resignation from the office held 30 days prior to the date of election or party primary for the office sought.
Sylva wrote Buhari that he is “respectfully invited to recall the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the Guidelines for the Conduct of Primaries issued by our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) relating to political appointees aspiring to participate in its primary elections at all levels the Guidelines).
“By the provisions of (Section 30) of the Guidelines: No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for the purpose of the nomination of candidates.
“Any political office holder interested in contesting for an elective office shall leave Office 30 days prior to the date of election or party primary for the office sought.
“I am interested in contesting elections for the position of Governor of Bayelsa State and in participating in the upcoming Party Primaries. In this regard, I hereby tender my resignation as Honourable Minister of State with effect from 15 March 2023.
” In line with Extant Regulations and Policies of the Civil Service, I shall hand over to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources pending the appointment of a new Minister of State by Mr. President.
“It has been an honour to serve you and our great country Nigeria in this capacity Mr President and to help in actualising your vision for the Nigerian petroleum sector. I have served with diligence and integrity. as a result of which I have delivered on all Ministerial Mandates along the nine (9) Priority Areas of this administration.
” I am leaving Office with a sense of fulfilment knowing that I have left the Nigerian Petroleum industry better than I met it under your guidance and with your unflinching support.
“I am ready once again, for the next challenge of elective office, and take with me the added experience from serving as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I have no doubt in my mind that this will enrich the content and context of my governance when I do get elected into Office, and remain grateful for the privilege you granted me to serve.
” While looking forward enthusiastically to this next phase of my life. Mr. President, please accept as always, the renewed assurances of my loyalty and highest consideration.”
Special Assistant to the President on Digital Communications, Bashir Ahmad in tweet in his official Twitter handle confirmed the resignation.
Ahmad tweeted “Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and former Bayelsa state governor, H.E. Timipre Sylva, has resigned his appointment to contest in the next Bayelsa governorship election”.
Buhari appointed Sylva as minister of state petroleum in 2015.
During his administration, Sylva headed the committee that signed the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which overhauls the country’s petroleum industry.
Sylva was a one-term governor of Bayelsa under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 2007 to 2008 when his tenure was nullified by the court. He won a re-run, which saw him through to 2012. He also lost a return bid under the PDP and defected to the APC.
Sylva had last year resigned as Minister after declaring his intention to contest the Presidential primaries of the APC.
But a few days later, he withdrew the letter despite attending a valedictory session with President Buhari alongside other Ministers who contested the primaries.
Earlier this year, the Sylva said he is not desperate to govern Bayelsa for the second time.
He said, “I am still reaching out because, for me, the development of Bayelsa State is not one man’s project. And you will understand with me that, today, to become the governor of Bayelsa State is not an ambition to me. It is something that I have attained before. It is nothing that I really want to do anything to achieve by every means.”