We warned Buhari not to appoint Alhassan minister – El rufai

We warned Buhari not to appoint Alhassan minister – El rufai
September 08 20:01 2017

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has revealed that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other stakeholders warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to appoint Aisha Alhassan as minister.

Alhassan who is the minister of women affairs, had in recent interviews said he won’t support President Buhari if he decides to contest in 2019 and will rather back her ‘godfather’, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

El-Rufai lambasted the minister for being disloyal to the President, adding that she did not also vote for Buhari during the APC presidential primary.

He, however, said her retention or otherwise as a cabinet minister should be at the discretion of the President.

“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,’’ he said.

The governor said he was at the Presidential Villa to wish the President “very happy Sallah’’ and also join him in performing the Juma’at prayer.

“Look, you can retain a person in the cabinet even if he doesn’t support you if he adds value to the country. Because this is a government, it is not a political group fighting for some political progress.

“If Jummai Alhassan is coming as Minister of Women Affairs and adding value to the government and the people of Nigeria it is the President’s prerogative to retain her in spite of her political views.

“But if she is not adding value in spite of her political views she can be dispensed with…… people shouldn’t get worried about it.

I have worked closely with the President, I know him and I know how he thinks. He doesn’t take these things personally….

What is primary to him is Nigeria’s progress… that is what matters ultimately.”

On the ongoing debate on restructuring the country, El-Rufa’i, who is chairing the APC ‎committee on true federalism, said his committee would start public hearings on the matter from Sept, 18.

He said that the committee had started receiving a lot of comments and memoranda particularly from young people who had never been part of the restructuring conversation.

According to him, the committee will have 13 public hearings across the country.

“By the time we listen to Nigerians and synthesize their views, we will write and make recommendations to our party how to operationalise true federalism as we have promised in our constitution,’’ he said.