The minister of women affairs, Aisha Alhassan, is proving that talk is cheap, and is even cheaper in the mouth of a Nigerian politician.
Despite her public posturing last year, the minister has neither resigned from the federal cabinet or defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with her self-described political godfather, Atiku Abubakar.
In September 2017, without any prompting, Alhassan visited former Atiku Abubakar, and declared that he would become Nigeria’s president in 2019, irrespective of whether her current boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, runs for reelection or not.
“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,” she said.
Well, Atiku has not declared for president, but in November, he defected to the PDP, making him Alhassan’s opponent. Those expecting that she would follow him into the opposition would be stunned by her latest declaration: “I am and I will continue to remain in APC.,” she said in an interview with Premium Times newspaper.
“Politics is all about interest, and nobody forced me to leave PDP to join APC, so no one will force me out of it,” she said. “I will continue to work for APC and that’s why I travelled out to Taraba, to campaign for our party’s candidate Sanusi Jambawaile. I know many may wish to see me leaving APC, but let me assure them I will remain in APC! So, how can I destroy the house we collectively built?”
She however declined to comment on Atiku’s defection, focusing instead on the fact that the APC in Taraba state is in tact and without factions.
‘’So, we are one no any problem as some of you thought,’’ she further.
Her move to remain in the APC has been commended by the acting chairman of APC in the state, Sani Chul, who said that “by her action, she has extended the lifespan of her political career; she would have a lot to gain in the APC than in PDP.’’