The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, aka Mama Taraba, has declared that she will support a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 presidential election even if President Muhammadu Buhari decides to contest.
THEWILL recalls that she had been seen on a video, which went viral on Tuesday, endorsing Atiku for the 2019 election.
Alhassan, in an interview with BBC Hausa Wednesday after the video became public, revealed that Atiku is her godfather, adding that she is not scared of being relieved of her post as Minister.
Presidential spokesman, Mallam Shehu Garba declined to comment on the development when contacted by THEWILL. “We have no comment for now,” he told THEWILL in a phone call.
However, Aisha told the BBC that: “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 in hausa.
“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.
“As we are talking now Atiku has not said he is going to contest. Why I said our president in 2019 is because we all hope he is going to contest, but he never told us that he is going to contest. But if he said he is going to contest I will surely do what I told you I will do.
“Because if Atiku said he is going to contest and I remain in the cabinet of Baba while Baba also wants to contest, then I have become a hypocrite and I am not one. If I said I am not with Atiku, Buhari himself will not trust me at all because he will say I am a hypocrite.
“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.”
Although, it is not certain that President Buhari will run for a second term due to his health challenges, Atiku is believed to be strategizing and building a coalition for the 2019 elections but has not publicly declared his intention.
THEWILL sources close to the former Vice President said he will dump the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the coming weeks to actualize his presidential bid.
With her open endorsement of Atiku, President Buhari will likely drop Alhassan from his cabinet in his imminent cabinet dissolution/reshuffle.
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