The minister of women affairs and social development, Mrs. Aisha Alhassan has said that in as much as she is still loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari as a member of his cabinet, the former vice president, Atiku Abukar still remains her political godfather she would not dispense with.
Alhassan who was reacting to the criticisms trailing her Sallah visit to Abubakar in Yola, Adamawa State and her avowed support for his 2019 presidential ambition described her social media traducers as “mischievous”.
“In a nation where politicians are quick to dump the people that assisted them to get to where they are, for political expediency, I have chosen to maintain a long standing family relationship with Abubakar, as well as Buhari, who I consider as a father.
“Besides, neither Buhari nor Abubakar has officially told anyone of an interest in seeking election in 2019,” she said.
She stated that Abubakar had remained her political mentor over the years and was still a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that her loyalty to Buhari and his administration, which she serves as a minister, was “unshakable”.
The minister accused her “political detractors” of “amplifying and misinterpreting” her Sallah visit to Abubakar so as to smear her image because they were afraid of her growing political influence in Taraba State.
On her relationship with Buhari since the news of her support for Abubakar was made public, she said: “How will I know? I have not seen the president but I don’t think the president is a naive person.”
On whether she is confident that she would still keep her job, she said: “God gives and God takes. That is all and I have said it all in Hausa. You know that there is an end to everything.”
She said if she lost her job because of her visit, she would consider it as the will of God and urged Nigerians to support the policies and programmes of the Buhari administration saying “it is time for governance and not yet time for politicking.”
It would be recalled that since the video of her visit to Abubakar went viral followed by her interview with BBC where she said matter-of-factly that she would support the former in 2019, many commentators who took to the social media viewed her comments as disloyalty to Buhari who might be seeking a second term.
They also said her comments smacked of campaign for Abubakar who has become the apostle of restructuring and endeared himself to politicians of restructuring leaning.