Pulse Opinion: Has Mama Taraba abandoned Atiku?

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Has Mama Taraba abandoned Atiku?

Women Affairs minister Aisha Alhassan (aka Mama Taraba) says the APC will rule Nigeria forever. What exactly is she up to?

In September 2017, President Buhari’s minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan (popularly referred to as Mama Taraba), announced her support for the presidential bid of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

“Let me tell you today that if Baba (Buhari) says he is going to contest in 2019, I swear to Allah, I will go before him and kneel and tell him that ‘Baba I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve your government as a minister but Baba just like you know I will support only Atiku because he is my godfather, if Atiku says he is going to contest”, Mama Taraba had said.

Looking Atiku straight in the eye, Mama Taraba declared: “Your excellency, our father, the next president come 2019, God willing”.

Like everyone now knows, Buhari has announced a second term bid and Mama Taraba couldn't talk him out of it. Worse, she's still a minister in the Buhari cabinet.

 

This week, the same Mama Taraba declared that the APC will rule Nigeria forever.

“I will make sure that in my zone, I follow up and by God’s grace, Gombe and Taraba will be taken over in 2019. And don’t even talk about Nigeria because it’s already APC and it will continue to be APC forever,” Mama Taraba said.

Essentially, Mama Taraba has gone from backing Atiku who has now defected to the PDP, to declaring that her political party, the APC, will rule Nigeria forever–all in the space of nine months.

There was a time when everyone thought that for openly backing Atiku, Buhari was going to sack Mama Taraba from his cabinet. But she has stayed on in the cabinet and in the APC.

At the time, Mama Taraba even dared Buhari to sack her from his team.

 

“If because of what I said, I am sacked, it will not bother me because I believe in Allah, that my time has elapsed that is why”, she said.

She has also announced that she’ll launch another governorship bid in her home State of Taraba.

“I will re-contest the election again in 2019 if God keeps me alive and well,” she said.

“It is God that gives power to whoever he desires, I won the election in 2015, but God did not give me power. I will keep trusting in him and the grassroots people of Taraba and God willing, I will win the election”, she added.

Is Mama Taraba going to be backing Atiku’s presidential bid and turning her back against the presidential run of Buhari who is a member of her own political party?

Is Mama Taraba still going to be supporting Atiku’s presidency in the PDP while seeking to become governor from the platform of the APC?

 

In the final analysis, Mama Taraba has just proven that she is like every other politician out there; complete with the double-speak and Janus face. She has also shown that politics is essentially a game of interests. Buhari’s women affairs minister understands that in politics, you pitch tent where you think your bread is most likely to be buttered.

And right now, Mama Taraba thinks her interests would be best served on the APC platform.

The day she realizes the APC can no longer offer her a clear pathway to realising her political dreams, she’ll cut her losses, switch camps and become Atiku’s supporter again. It is the way politicians roll around here and Atiku understands this defection business better than most.

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