Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, also known as Mama Taraba, has resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet and from the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Her resignation, which comes two days after the APC screened her out of aspirants who will participate at the party’s governorship primaries on September 30, came months after speculation that she would resign from the cabinet.
In a September 29 letter to the president, Ms Alhassan decried her disqualification from contesting for the All Progressives Congress’ governorship ticket in Taraba State, saying the action constituted a grave injustice against her since she paid to purchase the form and had been a loyal member of the party since 2014.
She told the president she decided to resign from the cabinet because the APC has effectively disqualified her from being a minister if the party does not find her fit to be a governorship candidate.
Aisha Alhassan may however have incurred the wrath of the party when she declared in a BBC Hausa Service report last year September that she would support former vice-president Atiku Abubakar for the presidency, instead of President Buhari.
Abubakar is now a presidential aspirant, among a dozen other aspirants in the Peoples Democratic Party.
She said her choice of Abubakar was predicated on the fact that the former Vice President is her “godfather.”
“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.
“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.”
On the possibility of losing her job for rooting for Abubakar in 2019, Alhassan said, “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.”
However, Buhari declined to sack her for the statement and she also reportedly went to beg the president to retain her job.
There are strong indications that the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan, may dump the ruling All Progressives Congress to the United Democratic Party.
An aide to Mrs. Alhassan, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that the former minister resigned her appointment on Friday morning.
She was said to be waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari’s response before joining the UDP.
However, when contacted, the media aide to Alhassan, Mr. Bala Maina, said the resignation remained a speculation and that the former minister would react at the appropriate time.