2019: APC grills Mama Taraba over pro-Atiku comments

Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan
Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan

The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, on Thursday met with the National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressive Congress, APC in a bid to clarify her recent controversial statement concerning who she would support in the 2019 presidential election.

The minister caused a stir recently when she said she would support the presidential bid of former vice president Atiku Abubakar in 2019 even if her principal, President Muhammadu Buhari decided to run. She referred to Mr. Abubakar as her political godfather. She had further touched some nerves when she said that President Buhari had not indicated that he would re-contest.

In a follow-up interaction with reporters a few days later, she said she was not scared of losing her job over her statements adding that President Buhari would not be swayed by her traducers seeking sanctions against her.

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, tackled her days later saying that she (minister) had never believed in the Buhari ideology.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mrs. Alhassan was invited by the leadership of the party to defend her controversial statements on Thursday.

The minister, who arrived at the APC National Secretariat at about 2 p.m. entered into a closed-door session with the party chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, and members of the NWC. The meeting lasted until 4 p.m.

Emerging afterwards, she told waiting journalist that she could not speak on what transpired at the meeting because ”that is what the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi is there for.”

“I can’t make any statement when the party spokesperson is here with me. I am not the party spokesperson.”

Mr. Abdullahi after the minister left confirmed that the minister was at the secretariat to respond to issues relating ”to a series of controversial comments she made about the 2019 presidential election.”

The party spokesperson said the party refrained from making any public comments until they heard her position directly.

Mr. Abdullahi said while the party was not concerned about her decision on who to support for the presidency in 2019, ”she exhibited indiscretion in her mode of communicating her intention.”

Mr. Bolaji also gave some insight into what transpired at the meeting.

“Since the issue of the comment she made came up, the party has not said anything regardless of what individuals might have told you because we are a party that recognises the right of her members to express their opinions. We also had an opportunity to discuss with the minister to understand what she said and in what context she said so before we know how to respond.”

“So, when she came, we asked her to explain to us what truly transpired and in what context she said what she said and she did offer explanations. Now, having offered her explanations, we acknowledged that as a member of this party, she is entitled to her opinion and she is entitled to her choice.

“However, as a senior member of this party, her statements represent an act of indiscretion because with the kind of position she occupies even within the party, she is a party leader in her own right, what she said was not what she was supposed to say at the time that she said it.”

The party spokesman said Mrs. Alhassan did not exercise ”greater judgment than she did” and ”proper timing” for her comments adding that the minister however apologised.

The party spokesperson said there was no controversy as the person the minister supported in her comments (Mr. Abubakar) is a party member.

When asked a question whether the minister was advised to resign her appointment, Mr. Abdullahi said that was not discussed.

“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 (Abubakar) 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.”

Mr. Abdullahi, however, avoided any comments regarding the recent comments made by Mr. Abubakar

Mr. Atiku, it would be recalled had also initiated a debate when he criticised the APC-led administration for sidelining him in the nation’s affairs even when he contributed to its success in the 2015 polls. The former president is believed to have contributed funds towards the success of Mr. Buhari in the said polls.

The APC National Vice Chairman, North-west, Inuwa Abdulkadir, had chided the former vice president a few days later warning him and others to stop “misleading statements aimed at causing division within the party.”


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  • suleiman

    Any one wanting and wishing Buhari should contest elections in 2019 doesn’t love Nigeria, period! If Buhari himself loves Nigeria as he claims to be, he would have stepped aside a long time. Nigeria is too big for Buhari and it is clear he cannot rule this country. If he still wishes to contest in 2019, it is a clear indication is doesn’t love this country and is simply self-conceited.

    • Frank Bassey

      Buhari will go ahead to contest in 2019. It affords him the opportunity to complete his agenda, while pretending to Nigeria’s only saviour. Look at this:

      1.Shaibu Musa – MD, NNPC Medical Services
      2. Ibrahim Birma – Group General Manager, Audit Division
      3. Ahmed Katagum – Group GM Shipping
      4. Kallamu Abdullahi – Group GM, Renewable Energy Division
      5. Usman Yusuf – Group GM, NNPC GMD Office
      6. Bala Wunti – in charge of Corporate Planning & Strategy
      7. Umar Ajiya – MD, Nigerian Products Marketing Company
      8. Muhammed Abah – MD, Warri Refining Petrochemical Company
      9. Malami Shehu – MD, Port Harcourt Refining Company
      10. Adewale Ladenegan – MD, Kaduna RefiningPetrochemical Co.
      11. Adeyemi Adetunji – MD, NNPC Retail Division
      12. Dr Bola Afolabi – Group GM, Research & Development
      13. Diepriye Tariah – MD, Integrated Data Services
      14. Roland Wubare – GM National Petroleum Investment Services
      NOTE: (a) Maikanti Baru – still GMD, NNPC.
      (b) Isiaka Abdulrasaq – GMD Finance & Services
      (c) Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari – Petroleum Minister

      • duwdu


        In case you’re trying to imply an ethnic agenda from those appointments, think again… The best way to prove there’s an ethnic agenda, is to show that those personnel currently on the ground, and of the same cadre, are also northerners.

        For all I care, most of those the current government met on the ground were probably south easterner or from the south south planted there by the immediate past regime. Even the south West was severely marginalised by the immediate past regime.


        • Frank Bassey

          South-West marginalized in GEJ administration? You must be returning from Afganistan. What happened to No. 4 Citizen given to them? Are you aware it was sold to North West by BAT? Please choose another topic, or wait for a chat on European League.

    • Dr

      May be we should invite Dumbo to contest again, before his tenure will finish one of the leaders of Nigeria’s terrorist groups, SHEKAU or KANU would take over the Presidential Villa

      • 0tile

        It does not have to be Dullard of Daura vs Dumbo, there are so many intelligent, competent around to take Nigeria to great heights. All these people you nominated here can each do better than sickly Buhari.

  • Senator D

    Bubu neva finish the one when im hol for hand im dey look for 2019… Efian… Nah Lie… im dey lie… Nah bucket im wan kick soooooo….

  • Chuma Anierobi

    APC is home to dictatorship.

    • Tunsj

      So according to Chuma Anierobi, grilling Mama Taraba over pro-Atiku comments is dictatorship. You got to be kidding. The best thing for her to do is resign.

  • Comfortkay

    Mama Tariba might has´ve drunk Apetesi with Alhaji Atiku before those comments starts droping unaware from her mouth. I wonder why she has not resign