An ally of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has denied speculations that she is planning to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The minister also pledged allegiance on President Muhammadu Buhari, saying “I am and I will continue to remain in APC.’’
Mr. Abubakar had in December defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It was speculated that Mrs. Alhassan, a former senator, and other allies of the former vice president would join him in the PDP.
She had earlier in September said she would support Mr. Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election even if President Muhammadu Buhari decided to run.
“Atiku is my godfather even before I joined politics,” she said in Hausa. “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.”
But in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the minister, popularly called Mama Taraba, said she was not forced to leave the PDP on which platform she became a senator, she would remain in the APC.
“Politics is all about interest, and nobody forced me to leave PDP to join APC, so no want 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?”
Although, she declined comment on Mr. Abubakar’s defection from the APC, said the party “is intact in Taraba.’’
She added, “There is no squabble or faction, and our great party APC in Taraba is intact. That’s why we all work and campaigned together with His Excellency the former Acting Governor UTC.
‘’So, we are one no any problem as some of you thought,’’ she further.
Meanwhile, the acting chairman of APC in the state, Sani Chul, has expressed happiness with the minister’s decision to remain in the party.
“We are really happy with her decision, it is clear that she has seen some changes in the areas she complaint about in recent past if there are any,” he said
“Yes, there were issues in APC like in any other party but clearly we are better.
“And most importantly, it is the minister that should be congratulated because 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.’’
Also speaking, one of the minister’s supporters, Naomi Dogo, said it would be a “suicidal mission” if she joined Mr. Abubakar in the PDP.
“Following Atiku to PDP or whatever party would be a suicide mission for her; Atiku had globe trotted from one party to another, all in a bid to become president and Nigerians would not gamble with their future,” she said.
“Power belongs to God and you can’t get it by force; he too should have persevered in the APC to see what God has in stock for him; we earnestly congratulate Mama Taraba for making a tough but wise decision to remain in APC.”