Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai says supporters of
President Muhammadu Buhari were not in support of his choice of Aisha
Alhassan as a minister.
After a meeting with the president on Friday, the governor said Alhassan
has never been a supporter of Buhari.
He said he was not surprised that the minister openly endorsed former
Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
El-Rufai alleged that the minister voted against Buhari in the
presidential primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But El-Rufai failed to recall that he had once had a scathing remark
against Buhari when he accused him of being the only senior military
officer who failed all Military exams.
“Pa Muhammadu Buhari (72) is the only Nigerian senior military officer
that failed all the senior examinations in the history of Nigerian
If you check the official names of officers likes of IBB, Idiagbon, Diya,
Danjuma, Akhigbe, Abdulsalami, Aikhomu. etc you see a suffix, FSS, Psc,
MNi., Pa Muhammadu Buhari has none. He failed the Command and Staff
College exams and all other Military examinations (Psc means Pass staff
college),” El-Rufai was quoted to have said. He has not denied those
In 2011, El-Rufai in an interview with Journalist said “I was 25 years old
when Buhari and Babangida were Heads of State and I am now 50 and they
still want to be Head of State. I don’t understand that. I don’t
understand that at all and I call on the young people of Nigeria to take
their future into their hands and ensure that in the next election, they
vote for a new generation of leaders.
“I have great respect for President Babangida. I think he has done a lot
for Nigeria. You won’t take that from him. He has made his mistakes like
every human being, but people like President Babangida and General Buhari
should just disappear. They should give way to a new set of people with
new ideas. Young people preferably,” El-Rufai said.
But speaking to reporters at the Presidential Villa today, the turn-coat
El-Rufai said “The minister of women affairs, Jummai Alhassan, was never
in the Buhari camp. She did not support our candidates during the national
convention, she didn’t vote for Buhari during the primary,” el-Rufai said.
“Out of the largeness of the president’s heart and to encourage women, he
picked her as a minister.
“What she has tried to do in Taraba (Alhassan contested the 2015
governorship election on the platform of APC) earned her being nominated
as a minister. Many in Buhari camp did not support it but he overrode us.
“Her comments are not surprising. She has never been a supporter of the
president. She has never believed in Buhari’s ideology. So, I am not
The governor maintained that she was entitled to her opinion and added
that it was at the discretion of the president to either retain or replace
“As a Nigerian, she has every right to express her views and support
whoever she wants,” he said.
“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 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.”
The minister was at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday but did
not meet Abba Kyari, Buhari’s chief of staff, whom she had gone to see.