The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has endorsed a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2019 presidential election.
The minister made the endorsement when she led a private visit to Mr. Abubakar, a chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress.
“Your Excellency, our father and our president by the grace of God, come 2019,” she said in Hausa language.
A video of the visit has been leaked and was published by news website, dailynigerian.com
Popularly called Mama Taraba, Mrs. Alhassan was the APC governorship candidate in Taraba in 2015, an election she narrowly lost to the current Peoples Democratic Party Governor.
Her support for Mr. Abubakar will not be surprising for political observers, as the former vice president is believed to be a major financier of the APC in the North-east including Taraba.
Although Mr. Abubakar has not publicly declared his intention to run in 2019, he is believed to be mobilising and getting ready for the election. He came third in the APC presidential primaries in the build up to the 2015 elections, losing to President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Efforts to get Mrs Alhassan to speak on her comments in the video were unsuccessful, especially as President Muhammadu Buhari has not declared that he would not run in 2019. She did not return calls or respond to a short message sent to her mobile number.
Read the full translation of her speech below.
“Your Excellency, our father and our president by the grace of God come 2019. Before you are your people, your supporters for life, the people of Taraba State. They are here to show our homage and to greet you on the occasion of Sallah and for all that Allah has done to you because Allah has raised your status.
“We heard that they are coming to extend their greetings, so we said we have to be part of this and we all come to you. Chairman (Did not mention which chairman), of the party, come out chairman; he is our leader, because he is the chairman of the party, I was only made leader of the delegation.
“Here are some of the party officials (pointing at them while sitting). Everybody here is asking to be allowed to say something but I said no Baba should be left alone you are tired….”
While the minister was saying this, Mr. Abubakar sat listening.