By Femi Bolaji, Jalingo
For lovers of literature and the work of art, the idiom, “Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d”, wouldn’t seem like a new register but the latter part seems to have resonated in the political history of the country.
William Congreve, whose 1697 play, “The Mourning Bride”, was famous for this quote, has often been paraphrased into “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and has, overtime, featured in various literary works.
The build-up to the 2019 general elections in Taraba State has, once again, brought to the fore the nucleus of this clause and how it might determine the turn of events at the polls.
The Woman Aisha Alhassan
Aisha Alhassan was the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Taraba State and Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Her influence in the state’s polity is far-reaching and well established at the grassroots which was why, in 2015, she nearly became the first democratically elected female governor in the country on the platform of the APC when she squared up against the incumbent governor, Darius Ishaku.
However, her bid to re-contest in 2019 under the same platform, where she used to be the ‘beautiful bride’, was rejected, thus sparking a rage which the APC could not manage.
Its aftermath led to Alhassan revoking her membership of the party and consequently resigning her post in the APC-led Federal Government to pitch tent with a new platform, United Democratic Party, UDP, where she believes her interest will be protected.
She was, however, in the news, last week, when her supporters stormed the state secretariat of the APC in Jalingo to move items donated by her while she was still a card carrying member of the party.
This action, according to political pundits, was an extension of the rage conceived from the time a new Chairman for Taraba APC was inaugurated in Abuja by the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, while the John Oyegun installed state Chairman, Abdulmumin Vakki, loyal to Alhassan, was still claiming to be the authentic Chairman.
This led to the barricading of the party office by security operatives after trouble ensued when loyalists of the new Chairman, Ibrahim Elsudi, clashed with the Vakki faction.
The rivalry has, meanwhile, been put to rest as the former Minister quit the party with her loyalists after she was ruled out by the party’s gubernatorial screening committee from those eligible to feature in the party’s primary.
When many had thought she would return to the PDP where her political godfather, Atiku Abubakar, is now the presidential flag bearer, she preferred the UDP which has little or no popularity in the state.
“It is not about the party but the political structures on ground. APC was once unpopular in Taraba State and we know how some people and I laboured hard to get it to where it is today”, she had said.
“My movement to the UDP was because I was unfairly treated and great injustice was done to me when I was screened out of those eligible to contest at the party’s gubernatorial primary.
“I contested election in 2015 in this party where I emerged its gubernatorial flag bearer and subsequently confirmed as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“If I am not good enough in 2019 having contested in 2015 under the same platform for the same position, then I am not good enough to remain in the cabinet as minister under the same party at the federal level.”
Alhassan, who was in Abuja when her supporters stormed the APC office to evacuate some items she had donated to the party, seemed elated with the move.
Though she had been criticized by some party loyalists for allegedly stooping low on the purported action, political pundits noted that anything that can weaken a foe should be expected.
Alhassan, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, said, “I did not even give the directive but when they called and told me that was what they wanted to do, I gave them the go ahead.
“There was no point stopping them because of the kind of injustice the party meted on me. If I had left the party freely, I could decide to leave the items there but you know the circumstances.
“I bought the items to furnish the secretariat and now that I have moved on to the UDP, it is not out of place that I move with what belongs to me. They should buy their own furniture for the offices”.
Analysts foresee more political stunts from Alhassan whom they said might be a stumbling block in areas where the APC had previously held as strongholds.
The state APC, according to some, might be defeated if its post gubernatorial primary election crisis lingers till the general elections.
Moreover, fighting the incumbent, Ishaku, of the PDP as well as breaking the influence of Alhassan of the UDP may be quite herculean based on the power of incumbency Ishaku wields and the pain of betrayal Alhassan suffered.
This, of course, favours the PDP candidate who is seen as favourite to retain his seat in 2019.
Alhassan is believed that, having suffered rejection from her former party, will definitely fight back by making the beneficiary of her misery suffer same fate.
This however can be adduced to the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”