One of President Buhari’s cabinet ministers, Senator Jummai Aisha Alhassan, caught camera lenses of journalists at the presidency council chamber when she attended, Wednesday, September 13, government’s weekly Federal Executive Council Meeting, after openly voicing her preference for one of Nigeria’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, against her boss Muhammadu Buhari for APC’s 2019 ticket for the presidency.
Apart from the media, her presence at the FEC meeting may also have caused uneasiness among other cabinet ministers, especially, those nursing displeasure over her comments. Alhassan’s comment would also have unsettled the hierarchy of the APC.
Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development has been quoted to have expressed preference for Atiku Abubakar, her political-god-father for 2019 presidency on the platform of APC, against her boss President Buhari in a BBC Hausa programme. That she would prefer to resign as minister than abandon Atiku Abubakar if he decides to run for the presidency on the ticket of APC in 2019.
Reactions to her comments have not been in her best interest in respect of the office she occupies as cabinet minister appointed by President Buhari. Aisha Alhassan seems unperturbed, but resolved to keep her words and maintain her stands despite criticism on her comments against the President.
A very strong ally to President Buhari, Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, at a book launch in Abeokuta, Saturday, September 9, took-on the minister on her comment against the president. He asked Aisha Alhassan to resign as cabinet minister immediately.
Amosun described the minister’s comment while still serving in Buhari’s government as “blow both hot and cold at the same time”. Amosun’s words: “I would have saluted her if she had resigned but falling short of resigning has taken everything away from what she had said. Well, I am not Mr. President and I know that at the appropriate time he will review things”.
Amosun further added: “For somebody to have come out and say such thing means she might be working against the government and she will not want that government to succeed”.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is neither hiding his ambition to come against President Buhari if he decides to seek re-election in 2019 on APC ticket. Atiku’s Abuja media office issued a statement, Monday, September 11, that he would fight corruption like never before if given opportunity to preside over the affairs of the country.
Atiku’s media office statement advised those described as Atiku’s “self-righteous political enemies” to prove alleged corruption activities or mind the “skeletons in their own closets and keep quiet”. Atiku Abubakar was speaking when he toured a new ultra-modern Yaliam Press Limited in Jabi area of Abuja.