Civil servants in Sokoto, wishing to contest offices in 2023, have been directed to resign their appointments immediately.
A March 7 statement signed by the state’s Head of Service Abubakar Mohammed said Governor Aminu Tambuwal gave the directive in line with the new Electoral Act.
The statement reads in part, “In compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022… all civil servants at the state and local government levels wishing to contest elective positions in the forthcoming 2023 general elections are hereby advised to resign their positions effective from 8th March, 2022 by midnight.”
A desk officer in the office of the Head of Service was subsequently appointed to be contacted through 08024442263.
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Muhammad Nuhu told Daily Trust that the state government’s directive was wrong as the amended electoral act did not mention civil servants. He said the government had no right to compel civil servants to resign their appointments before pursuing their political ambition.
“They will be wrong in their interpretation if they include civil servants because that section 8(10) states that no political appointee shall be a voting delegate or shall be voted for at all levels of political party conventions or congress.
“Civil servants are not mentioned here.
“The Constitution is clear about the participation of civil servants in political elections, that they must resign three months before the elections.
“So the provision is not targeting civil servants but political appointees,” he said.
Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Aminu Umar Ahmed, declined comment to the newspaper, saying the labour body will respond after studying the circular.
“The circular is not yet clear to us. We may seek clarification from the Head of Service with a view to educating our members better,” he said.
However, the Head of Service insisted that the decision was in line with the new electoral law and what is happening in the country.
“Any civil servant who wants to contest for election, this is what the Constitution said and what the new electoral law says. We don’t know which is which.
“This is why we advised those who wish to participate to bring their notice in line with the new electoral law, unless there is another interpretation.
“If we later realise that the law is not referring to civil servants, we will issue another circular to that effect,” the HOS said.