The Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, says supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari were not in support of his choice of Aisha Alhassan as a minister.
Speaking with state house correspondents after meeting with President Buhari on Friday, the governor said Alhassan has never been a supporter of the president.
He said he was not surprised that the minister openly endorsed former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
“I just came to see the President and wish him very happy Sallah arrears, I wasn’t able to go to Daura. Hours of works and interactions, today being Friday I happen to be in town and thought I should come see him, pray with him and wish him well".
"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 here".
"Her comments are not surprising. She has never been a supporter, she has never believed in Buhari ideology. So, I am not surprised. As a Nigerian, as an individual, she has every right to express her views and support whoever she wants".
"What I am saying is Nigerians should not be surprised or shocked. This has always been her position because from the time she has never supported Buharism or what Buhari stands for. Being part of Buhari government is a different thing because the government sets policies and if you are a minister you execute the policies. You can execute those policies while pursuing a different brand of politics".
El-Rufai maintained that Alhassan was entitled to her opinion and that it was at the discretion of the president to either retain or replace her. He said;
“As a Nigerian, she has every right to express her views and support whoever she wants".