By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
As the fireworks for and against the current Women Affairs Minister, Senator Aisha Alhassan, for declaring support for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, while serving Buhari, continue, former Presidential Adviser, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has said that Nigerians should commend her for having the courage to speak the truth rather than deceive the president.
Mohammed, a Second Republic lawmaker, told Saturday Vanguard that what Alhassan said was nothing strange, as many other ministers in the Buhari cabinet have in the past expressed reservation about his ability to seek re-election in 2019 going by his falling health. “What the minister has said is nothing new but the truth. Others in the cabinet of Buhari have been making such statements but in hushed tones. It is only that Alhassan had the courage and boldness to speak out and people should not chastise her because she has nothing to lose by staying or leaving Buhari’s cabinet,” Mohammed said.
Mohammed, who was also a delegate to the 2014 National Conference, stated that the minister’s comment was a demonstration of her frustration with the Buhari government as not many people from Taraba State, who had worked with her to install the Buhari government, had been given any serious attention by the government.
“It is clear that like Senator Alhassan, most of those from the Taraba axis who worked to bring about the administration of Buhari, are disappointed and they can only voice out their frustration through the minister, who has nothing to lose either by staying or leaving the government.
Mohammed however said he would have expected the minster to resign before openly expressing support for Atiku, who he advised to try and add more integrity to his political menu before seeking to rule Nigeria.
The former adviser to President Shehu Shagari said that Atiku needs to prove to Nigerians that he has as much integrity as President Muhammadu Buhari before Nigerians particularly, those from the North, would vote for him in any election.
He said that Atiku does not command the respect Buhari has in the north and could therefore not be said to be on the same political pedestal with Buhari in spite of the resources at his disposal.
According to him, Buhari won the 2015 election primarily because of his integrity and not only on account of competence or intelligence.
The former politician however knocked Buhari for picking those he called ‘people who don’t believe in his vision’ and are pursuing their own pecuniary interests under the guise of fighting corruption and serving Nigerians. He did not however mention the names of those ministers working at variance with Buhari’s vision. He did not also say that Aisha Alhassan was among those pursuing pecuniary interests.