7 September 2017
By James Ojo
Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, on Wednesday declared that she will support former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election if he should contest, not President Muhammadu Buhari.
Disclosing this during an interview with BBC Hausa, the minister pledged her unflinching support for the former Vice-President, stressing that she does not mind losing her job as a Minister because of her stance.
Her words: “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. And let me tell you today that if Baba 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.’ (That is) if Atiku said he is going to contest; as we are talking now Atiku has not said he is going to contest.”
Asked whether it is not too early to start campaigning for the 2019 elections, the Minister explained, “Yes I made this statement when we went for a courtesy call during Sallah festivities, I am not going to stand before him and campaign, besides this is not the time for campaign. Even when my people asked me to come out and start campaigning, I told them this is not the time for that. This is the time to work for the people.
“This is the work of my political enemies, they have been going round saying I should be sacked as minister. I never hoped to be a minister, Allah gave it to me. If I get sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed; because I believe only Allah can do and undo. And you think Baba is 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. He will not sack me from being a minister because of this, only if I commit another offence. I am doing my job as a minister with all my heart and I always protect this government because it is a government of APC.
“And Baba our President, the President of Nigeria and somebody that I respect even before I joined politics. I will continue to respect him as a man of integrity. For those who are saying I will be sacked, they will be shamed. And even if I am sacked, I believe it is my time as minister that has ended. I never asked for it, Allah gave it to me.”