2019: Gov. El-Rufai says Minister’s support for Atiku not surprising

2019: Gov. El-Rufai says Minister’s support for Atiku not surprising

Friday, September 8, 2017 5:40 pm

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir-el Rufai of Kaduna State also told reporters that he was not surprised about the declaration by Minister of Women, Aisha Alhassan, that she will support former Vice President Atiku Abubakar against Buhari on the 2019 presidency

According to the Governor who spoke to journalists on Friday at Aso Rock presidential villa, Buhari was warned against appointing Alhassan as minister as she has never supported the president nor believed in whatever he stands for.

The Governor said, “The Minister of Women Affairs Jummai Alhassan, has been in the students union. In the APC she was never in the Buhari camp, she did not support our candidates during the National Convention, she didn’t vote for Buhari during the primaries.

“But out of largeness of the president’s heart and to encourage women…Even though she was never a supporter of his politics or what he believes in, his ideology; he still believed that to encourage women in politics, what she has tried to do in Taraba earned her being nominated as a minister.

“Many in Buhari camp did not support it, but he overrode everybody… he tries to consider every Nigerian his own son or daughter and he nominated her. Her comments are not surprising, she has never been a supporter, she has never believed in Buhari ideology. So, I’m not surprised… as a Nigerian, as an individual, she has every right to express her views and support whoever she wants. What I’m saying is Nigerians should not be surprised or shocked.

“This has always been her position because from time, she has never supported Buharism or what Buhari stands for. Being part of Buhari government is a different thing because government sets policies and if you’re a minister, you execute the policies. You can execute those policies while pursuing a different brand of politics,” el-rufai said.

He however added that it is the president’s prerogative to decide whether to sack or retain Alhassan in his cabinet: “You can retain a person in the cabinet even if he doesn’t support you if he adds value to the country because this is a government; it is not a political group fighting for some political progress.

“If Jummai Alhassan is coming as Minister of Women Affairs and adding value to the government and the people of Nigeria, it’s the president’s prerogative to retain her in spite of her political views. But if she is not adding value in spite of her political views, she can be dispensed with.

“People shouldn’t get worried about it. I’ve worked closely with the president, I know him and I know how he thinks. He doesn’t take these things personally. What is primary to him is Nigeria’s progress. That is what matters ultimately.”

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