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Women affairs minister, Mama Taraba resigns, decamps to UDP
THE Minister for Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, commonly known as “Mama Taraba” has resigned, few days after she was screened out by the All Progressives Congress (APC) from contesting for the governorship post in Taraba State.
In her resignation letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, Alhassan stated that her disqualification by the party was a grave injustice since she had paid to purchase the form and had been a loyal member of the party since 2014.
The APC nomination form for a candidate running for a governorship position costs N22.5 million.
Alhassan also noted that since the party does not consider her fit to run for a governorship election on its platform, it means she was also not qualified to remain as a member in Buhari’s cabinet, hence her resignation.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, had explained that Alhassan was screened out because she was not one hundred per cent loyal to the party.
“From all she had said in the past and even her comments and general attitude during the screening, the NWC reviewed everything taken together and we arrived at the conclusion that she does not possess the level of loyalty that the APC requires for her to contest elections on our platform,” he said.
In 2017, during an interview with BBC Hausa, Alhassan said that she would not support President Buhari if he decides to run for a second term.
“Let me tell you today that if Baba says 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 says he is going to contest,” Alhassan said at the time.
Atiku has since left the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and is currently one of the party’s top presidential aspirants, but Alhassan has remained in the APC, at least until Saturday, when she eventually quit the party.
But instead of following Atiku to the PDP, Alhassan joined the United Democratic Party (UDP), and immediately picked up the party’s nomination form to contest for the Taraba governorship seat. She also tweeted that all the executives of the APC in all the local government areas in Taraba State, as well as all the State’s APC executives, decamped with her.
Addressing the press on Saturday, Alhassan said it was not the APC that disqualified her, but the Chairman, Oshiomhole.
“It was not the screening committee that disqualified me; the chairman of the party personally did it. Oshiomhole has used his powers to deal with me, but it is God that gives power,” she said.
Alhassan came close to becoming Nigeria’s first elected woman in 2015 on the platform of the APC, but she was defeated controversially by the incumbent Governor, Darius Ishaku.
She contested Ishaku’s victory at the election petitions tribunal and she was declared the winner of the election, but the victory was later upturned by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court respectively.