NATIONAL publicity secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bolaji Abdullahi, said there was nothing wrong in Senator Aisha Al-Hassan’s support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The party spokesperson, who confirmed to journalists that the embattled minister was invited by the party national working committee, noted that the former vice-president is a member of the ruling party, not a rival platform.
Senator Aisha Al-Hassan on Thursday surfaced at the party secretariat at about 2pm and went into a closed door meeting with Chief Odigie Oyegun and other national officers of the party.
The minister, who came out at about 4.10 pm, in company of the party national publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, declined interview with newsmen and only made a terse remark:
“I cannot make any statement when the party spokesperson is here with me. I am not the party spokesperson. If you want any interview, come to my office,” she told newsmen.
The APC spokesperson declared that the party leadership accused her of lack of discretion as he further noted that time was not ripe to engage in campaigns for any aspirant seeking elective office, until next year.
He said: “Yes, we invited her for discussion. Since she made her comments, the party hasn’t responded.
“Of course, we respect the right of our members to express opinions, freely. We told her that as a senior member of the party, we expect her to exercise discretion. We didn’t query her right to her choice of candidate in 2019.
“What we told her was that as a senior member of our party, she ought not to have spoken the way she did; we have no reason to quarrel with her, after all, she isn’t supporting somebody from another political party.
“If she has reserved her comments till 2018, it wouldn’t have been an issue.’’
Recall that Senator Al-Hassan, a member of the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) recently stunned the nation as she declared that she would be very reluctant to back her principal and the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari for a fresh mandate in 2019.
The Minister for Women affairs openly announced former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar as her preferred choice for the party ticket.
She said: “Atiku is my godfather even before I joined politics. “And again, Baba Buhari did not tell us that he is going to run in 2019.
“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.
“If because of what I said, I am sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah that my time has elapsed that is why.
“Baba is not 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,” she said.