Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, the Nigerian minister of Women AffairsSeptember 6confirmed to the BBC Hausa Service that an online video of her expressing support to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 presidential election is indeed credible.
She also told the BBC that she would resign should President Muhamadu Buhari decide to contest the 2019 elections.
In the interview with the BBC Hausa Service the Women’s Affairs Minister stated “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.
“Let me tell you today that if Baba (Buhari) said he is going to contest in 2019, I swear to Allah, I will go before him and kneel and tell him that ‘Baba I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve your government as a minister but Baba just like you know, I will support only Atiku because he is my godfather; if Atiku says he is going to contest,” She told the BBC.
“If because of what I said, I am sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed,” she added.
The controversy started over a circulating online video ofthe Women Affairs Minister leading a delegation on an Eidvisit to former vice-president, Atiku in Yola.
In the video, Alhassan was heard saying 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.”
Her confirmation of the veracity of the video shocked the political landscape in Abuja, yesterday, but there were muted reactions from the presidential party and its allies. The Presidency offered no comments on Senator Alhassan’s comments, while the APC said its leadership will meet to react to the issue.
However, the opposition PDP’s spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, said her comments are an indicator that the government of President Buhari has “performed woefully”, adding that “this is a vote of no confidence in the government by a member of that government.”
Popularly known as Mama Taraba, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan was appointed Minister of Women Affairs of Nigeria in 2015 to the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. She was previously a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senator, representing Taraba North constituency of Taraba State, Nigeria.
She later cross carpeted to the then opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) partyand became the Gubernatorial Candidate of Taraba State for the 2015 general elections. She was defeated in the election re-run held on 25th of April 2015, but on 7 November 2015 the tribunal removed Taraba Governor, Darius Ishaku, and declared her winner. This was later reversed by the Appeal and Supreme Courts of Nigeria.[
Atiku Abubakar was vice-president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007under President Olusegun Obasanjo on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 2014, Atiku left the People’s Democratic Party to the join All Progressives Congress, currently in power.
Photo : Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan was appointed Minister of Women Affairs of Nigeria
Photo : President Buhari and AtikuAbubakar