The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday summoned the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Jummai Alhassan, over her open support for the purported bid by the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the presidency in 2019.
The minister who arrived the national secretariat of the party in Abuja was ushered into the office of the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun where discussions were held behind closed doors with members of the national working committee ( NWC) of the party.
Alhassan, who was in her usual lively mood, declined to speak to reporters on what transpired at the parley.However, the spokesperson of the party, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, confirmed that Alhassan’s visit was in connection with her open declaration of support for Atiku.
According to him: “Since the issue of the comment she made came up, the party has not said anything regardless of what individuals may have told you because we are a party that recognizes the right of her members to express their opinions or views.
“What she said was not what she was supposed to say at the time that she said it. She ought to have exercised greater judgment than she did and she acknowledged that yes, maybe she ought not to have said so. Maybe the timing was wrong and she apologized if she had put the party in any difficult position”
On whether the party asked her to resign, he said “No, that did not come up. What we just said was that we understand the context in which she said what she said but it was an act of indiscretion for someone occupying the position she is occupying in the party to make that kind of statement.
“If this was 2018 and the people have filed their applications to say they are contesting and she now comes out and says she is supporting this person, how can that be an issue? But we are still in 2017. We are still far away. Atiku has not said he is contesting. He has not collected any form. He has not announced to anybody that he is contesting. So, that is what we mean by the timing. It is not that she had no right to say what she had said.”