West News Wire: Ten Nigerian cabinet officials have resigned to contest in next year’s election, including the junior petroleum minister, according to information minister Lai Mohammed.

The government said on Thursday that all ministers, diplomats, agency heads, and other political officials must quit by May 16 if they choose to run in the country’s 2023 election.

Ministers of justice, transportation, labor, the Niger Delta region, and women’s affairs had all resigned as of Friday morning. According to Mohammed, the junior ministers of mining and education have also resigned.

President Muhammadu Buhari also acts as the senior petroleum minister.

Buhari will step down after serving two four-year terms following the February 2023 ballot. At least four of the ministers who resigned are looking to replace Buhari, as is central bank governor Godwin Emefiele who is making an unprecedented presidential run.

“This morning, there was a valedictory service for 10 members of the federal council who have indicated their desire to aspire for higher offices,” the information minister said, in a press statement. “Nine of them were present, the 10th was absent with apology.”

Nigeria’s governing party and the leading opposition parties are running primary elections later this month and must pick their candidates by June 3.

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