President Muhammadu Buhari’s Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan (aka Mama Taraba), in a recent interview with BBC Hausa, said that she would support former Vice President Atiku Abubakar come 2019 even if President Muhammadu Buhari decides to contest again.
According to her, Atiku is her godfather even before she joined politics, she therefore cannot abandon Atiku for Buhari. Besides, Buhari did not say he would contest in 2019.
“Atiku is my godfather even before I joined politics,” she said in Hausa language.
“And again, Baba Buhari did not tell us that he is going to run in 2019.” She noted
“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 also added that she is not afraid of being sacked as a minister, but if it happens, she would take it as Allah’s will for her, besides she never thought she would be appointed as a minister.
Read below the full English translation of her interview with BBC;
BBC: Your Excellency, you said you hope former Vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, become the president of Nigeria in 2019, why did you make this statement?
Atiku is my godfather even before I join politics, and again Baba Buhari did not tell us that he is going to run in 2019. And 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.’ (That is) if Atiku said he is going to contest; as we are talking now Atiku has not said he is going to contest. Why I said our president in 2019 is because we all hope he is going to contest, but he never told us that he is going to contest. But if he said he is going to contest I will surely do what I told you I will do.
Because if Atiku said he is going to contest and I remain in the cabinet of Baba while Baba also wants to contest, then I have become a hypocrite and I am not one. If I said I am not with Atiku, Buhari himself will not trust me at all because he will say I am a hypocrite.
BBC: Is it not early to start campaigning?
Yes I made this statement when we went for a courtesy call during Sallah festivities, I am not going to stand before him and campaign, besides this is not the time for campaign. Even when my people asked me to come out and start campaigning, I told them this is not the time for that. This is the time to work for the people.
This is the work of my political enemies, they have been going round saying I should be sacked as minister. I never hoped to be a minister, Allah gave it to me If I get sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed; because I believe only Allah do and undo. And you think Baba is 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. He will not sack me from being a minister because of this, only if I commit another offence. I am doing my job as a minister with all my heart and I always protect this government because it is a government of APC. And Baba our President, the President of Nigeria and somebody that I respect even before I joined politics. I will continue to respect him as a man of integrity. For those who are saying I will be sacked, they will be shamed. And even if I am sacked, I believe it is my time as minister that has ended. I never asked for it, Allah gave it to me.