APC Denies Telling Aisha Alhassan To Resign
National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the party had not asked Women Affairs Minister, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, to resign over her recent comments in the media.
The minister who was grilled for more than two hours by the party leadership led by its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun eventually came out of the questioning with a slap on the wrist.
Against all expectations, the party leadership did not ask for her resignation as was expected and already demanded for by some loyalists of President Buhari.
She had reportedly said that she would support former Vice President Atiku Abubakar if he showed interest in the 2019 presidential race, explaining that the man had been her “godfather”.
“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 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 said he is going to contest.”
“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,” she said then.
At the end of the meeting, the embattled minister who is popularly called Mama Taraba refused to answer questions put to her by eager journalists as she simply said: “I can’t talk when the APC spokesman is here with me. I’m not the party’s spokesperson.”
Even before he agreed to speak officially on what transpired at the meeting, the party’s spokesman Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, who saw the embattled Minister to her car, told newmen that the party “invited her for a meeting.”
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Bolaji Abdullahi, debunked the insinuation that the party asked the Minister to resign her position.
He said: “No, that did not come up. What we just said was that we understand the context in which she said what she said but it was an act of indiscretion for someone occupying the position she is occupying in the party to make that kind of statement.
“If this was 2018 and the people have filed their applications to say they are contesting and she now comes out and says she is supporting this person, how can that be an issue? But we are still in 2017. We are still far away. Atiku has not said he is contesting. He has not collected any form. He has not announced to anybody that he is contesting. So, that is what we mean by the timing. It is not that she had no right to say what she had said.”