OrderPaperToday– The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari was warned by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not appoint Sen. Aisha Alhassan as Minister.

This is sequel to comments made by Alhassan- when she expressed her undying loyalty to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar for the presidential position ahead of the 2019 election.

She added that she would not regret if she is eventually sacked for her statements.

El-Rufai made this disclosure while speaking with state house correspondent at the presidential villa on Friday.

He further berated the Minister of Women Affairs of being disloyal to the President and was never a Buhari supporter but a loyalist of the former vice-president.

He said: “We have a group. We have Buharists amongst governors, ministers. Our group wants to ensure that President Buhari runs in 2019. Our political ideology is to support whatever President Buhari wants to support. If he chooses not to run, he will tell us which direction to go.

“We are Buharists, we don’t have any personal ambition, we don’t have any personal aspiration and we are waiting for him to decide. And we are making every political effort and creating every structure to achieve this.

“She was nominated as a minister because the President felt she earned the nomination, given the need to encourage women in politics and her impressive – though failed – run in the Taraba governorship election.

“Many in Buhari camp did not support it (Alhassan’s nomination) but he (Buhari) overruled everybody because that is how he is. He tries to be inclusive, he considers every Nigerian as his own son or daughter and he nominated her to be minister.

“Her comments are not surprising, she has never been a supporter, she has never believed in the Buhari ideology. So, I am not surprised and as a Nigerian, as an individual, she has every right to express her views and support whoever she wants.

“But what I am saying is that 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 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.”

Elrufai however said her retention or otherwise as a cabinet minister should be at the discretion of the president.

Mr. El-Rufai also denied having a presidential ambition.

“What I want to say here very, very clearly is that I have never been a presidential aspirant. I have never even been a gubernatorial aspirant. As far as 2019 is concerned, my position is that the president is looking very well. He is recuperating very fast. My hope and prayer is that he will contest in 2019,” he said.


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