2019: Why Buhari And Aisha Alhassan parted ways

By Stephen Ubanna

For months , there have been speculations that Aisha Alhassan  for, minister of Women Affairs and Social Development would quit her ministerial position to contest for the All Progressive Congress, APC,   governorship primaries in Taraba state, September 29, 2018.

The minister was said to have notified President Muhammadu Buhari of her plans in   to contest the APC,  governorship  Seat in Taraba state . Buhari was said to have informed Adams Oshiomhole , the  national Chairman of the party of the plan of the Taraba state born minister of Women Affairs and Social Development.  to contest the governorship Seat of  the state .

The Magazine learnt that  at every stage of her plan she  had carried the President along   up to the collection of nomination Form and  mobilisation for Presidential and governorship primaries in the state. The Magazine learnt that at no time did the President advised her to  quit the race because of alleged complaints  dual loyalty which may count against her in the governorship primaries.

Kemi Adeosun, A former Minister Of Finance Had Earlier Resigned From The APC Government

Party sources told The Magazine that the President played along with her  despite  having made up his mind not to intervene in the state governorship ambition and to allow the screening Committee and the National Working Committee , NWC, of the party take their decision on the matter which may  not favour the Minister Alhassan.

The President, according to a party source has not been happy over the statement credited to her  in 2017, that  if Baba says he is going  to contest  the 2019 Presidential election, she swore to go before him and kneel  and tell him, ”Baba I  am grateful for  the opportunity  given  to me   to serve your government as minister but  Baba just like you know   I will support  only Atiku, because  he is my godfather ….if he  says he is going to contest”. Buhari was infuriated  with the statement but did not show it in his dealings with the minister.

Insiders told the Magazine that Buhari knew a day of reckoning  would come when  she will  need his support to actualise his governorship ambition in Taraba , her home state. The President was further encouraged to turn his back on the minister when she needed his support most to actual  her governorship ambition in the state with the support of Adams Oshiomhole, the party who is ready to implements the Constitution of the party to the later where loyalty counts to for any member to contest elections or hold office in an APC government.

Oshiomhole said that much  when gave in insight to the party governorship screening Committee report  in Taraba state which  disqualified  Alhassan, the then mnister of Women Affairs and Social Development  from the governorship race. ”She was disqualified because the party was not convinced of her loyalty”, he said.

An aggrieved  APC  Oshimhole, said  the part Constitution  was very clear as it dictates  that  to contest  elections  or hold office in  APC, the member must be  loyal to the party in every material concern. The APC national Chairman   noted that  ”from all what she had said  in the past  and even her comments  and general  attitude during  the screening ” did not show any form of  loyalty to the party. He  disclosed that  the party NCW, ” reviewed  everything taken together and arrived t the conclusion that  she does not  possess the level of loyalty that APC requires for her to contest  elections  on the party platform”, stressing that she was disqualified over acts of idiscipline.

Many believed that she could have saved herself and her supporters the embarrassment of the party NWC and the plot of the Presidency, if she had tendered her  resignation to the President  the momemnt it became clear that Atiku , who had decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, declared his Presidential ambition  on the platform of the party for the 2019 general election. They believe that  She should not have waited until the party leadership lifted ban for the sale of elective offices both at the national, state and local government level to play into their hand in the state.

In apparent reaction to the decision of the party Screening Committee Committee and the NWC, to disqualify her from Contesting  the governorship primaries in Taraba,  Alhassan, popular, mama Taraba, was forced to take the bold initiative, after due consultations with her  political Associates to quickly  tender  her resignation letter as a minister in the Buhari government on Saturday, September 29, 2018. She also withdrew her membership of the party, thus parting ways politically with Buhari.  I write with a lot of respect to inform  Mr. President of my decision  to resign my appointment as a  minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as a member of the APC.

Buhari  did not hesitate in accepting her resignation  as it was long over- due. the speed at which he appointed Hajia Aisha Abubakar, minister of State, Industries, Trade and Investment  to pilot the Affairs of the ministry  speaks volume. It was an indication that Buhari was tired of the  former minister and was looking for a way to ease  her out from the government. He however thanked her for her servics to the nation.” On behalf   of the government and people of Nigeria, I thank  you for your services to the nation”. The  President was said to have approved the former minister of Women Affairs and Social Development resignation letter on Sunday, September 30, 2018, instead of delegating the responsibility to  Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the government to do so, an indication that he was pleased to see her quit the government.

A close  source told the Magazine that quitting the APC government has given her opportunity  to join the Atiku Camp to work for the actualisation of his Presidential ambition in PDP but she has not officially declared for the party .  There are indications that  She may decamp to the party if the Atiku, the godfather wins the party Presidential ticket slated for October 5 and 6, 2018.

There is no gain saying the fact that, Alhassan reignation , brings to two, the ministers that had resigned from the Buhari government in the last one month. The first to resign was Kemi Adeosun, former minister of Finance over alleged National Youths Certificate, NYSC, forgery. There are indications that more minisiter would resign before the 2019 general election.

Insiders believe that there would not have been any need for ministers to freely quit the Buhari government if  he had rejig his  Cabinet  as promised long ago.  He may have been handicapped because of the frosty relationship with the leadership of the National Assembly, and the fears  he may not be able  to successfully  navigate the nominees  through Senate screening.  He had promised  at a meeting  of the  National Executive Committee  of the APC ,IN 2017,  to expand  the compressed Federal Executive Council to introduce fresh hands and remove those  who were  perceived as dead woods in the Cabinet but that was  far he could go.

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