- Says Buhari Didn’t Tell APC He Will Contest In 2019
…As APC Keeps Mum
By ‘Dotun Akintomide
In a daring statement to her principal, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Aisha Alhassan a.k.a Mama Taraba has said she does not give a damn should President Muhammadu Buhari decides to give her the marching order for declaring her loyalty to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar ahead of 2019 presidential election.
“If because of what I said, I am sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed that is why…” the Minister said.
This follows the leaked video online showing her eulogizing 2019 presidency hopeful, Atiku when she paid him a Sallah visit.
Her words spoken in Hausa: “Your Excellency, our father and our president by the grace of God come 2019. Before you are your people, your supporters for life, the people of Taraba State. They are here to pay homage and to greet you on the occasion of Sallah and for all that Allah has done for you because Allah has raised your status.
“We heard that they are coming to extend their greetings, so we said we have to be part of this, and we all came to you.
“Chairman of the party, come out chairman; he is our leader because he is the chairman of the party, I was only made leader of the delegation.
“Here are some of the party officials (pointing at them while sitting). Everybody here is asking to be allowed to say something, but I said no, Baba should be left alone, you are tired…”
Again on Wednesday, Mrs. Alhassan confirmed her statements while speaking with the BBC Hausa Service, saying President Muhammadu Buhari told members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before he was first elected that he would only seek one term in office, implying he did not intend at that time to run in 2019.
“In 2014/2015 he said he was going to run for only one time to clean up the mess that the (previous) PDP government did in Nigeria. And I took him for his word that he is not contesting in 2019,” Alhassan said.
“If today Mr. President says he is running in 2019 I will go to him respectfully and thank him for giving me an opportunity to serve and then tell him that I have to resign because my political father may be running,” said Alhassan.
“Atiku is my godfather even before I joined politics. And again, Baba Buhari did not tell us that he is going to run in 2019,” she said.
“If because of what I said, I am sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed that is why… Baba is not a mad man like those calling for my sack. They have been sending it and spreading that if Baba sees this I will be sacked.”
Her comment on Wednesday has infuriated APC chieftains, albeit, APC spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, is yet to offer any comment on the development, affirming that he would have to consult with the party leadership on the issue.
Similarly, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, and Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, declined to comment on the minister’s remarks.