By ‘Dotun Akintomide
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Jummai Alhassan, popularly hailed as ‘Mama Taraba’ has officially notified President Muhammadu Buhari of her political ambition to join the gubernatorial race in Taraba State 2019.
In a letter dated July 27, the minister, who informed the president of her intention, said she would vie for the governorship under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recall there had been speculations that the minister will follow presidential hopeful and former Vice president Atiku Abubakar to the PDP. Late last year she had vowed not to support Buhari second term bid ahead next year’s presidential poll.
Perhaps, with her recent move, she has finally decided not to dump the APC for the PDP.
President Buhari had already responded to Mama Taraba’s request saying he was committed to free and fair election.
In the letter titled ‘Re- Request for permission to contest for the governorship of Taraba State in the 2019 general elections under our great party, the APC,’ President Buhari said, “Let me thank you on behalf of the Federal Executive Council and Nigerians for your services as minister under this administration.
“I note with passion your past contributions to our great party APC during and after the 2015 general elections.
“As you are aware, I am totally committed to free and fair elections. Our policy is to support all APC candidates. I wish you well in your ambition to be governor of your state. Rest assured that all the security agencies as well as INEC will have my support to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in 2019.”
It is not clear when the minister would finally resign to pursue her ambition in Taraba. She had contested for the governorship in 2015 and challenged Governor Darius Ishaku up to the Appeal Court.