It is an act of indiscretion for someone occupying the position a minister to make a statement supporting an aspirant even before 2018, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, has said.
Malam Abdullahi stated this yesterday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja while briefing journalists on the outcome of a closed-door meeting with Hajiya Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, who recently voiced her preference for a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, over President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential election.
He said the National Working Committee (NWC) asked the minister to explain what really transpired concerning the controversial comment.
The APC spokesman said the party leadership told the minister that though she had a right to her choice or opinion, such comment represented an act of indiscretion because of the kind of position she occupied within the party.
“She is a party leader in her own right. What she said was not what she should have said at the time. She ought to have exercised greater judgement than she did and she acknowledged that. That maybe the timing was wrong and she apologized.
“She apologized if she had put the party in any difficult position,” he said.
Abdullahi maintained that “She ought to have exercised greater sense of discretion and better judgment knowing that making that kind of statement would definitely create some other situations for the party, if not for the government.”
Asked whether the APC asked the embattled minister to resign, Abdullahi said, “No that did not come up. What we just said was that we understand the context in which she said what she said. That it was an act of indiscretion for someone occupying the position she is occupying in the party to make that kind of statement.
“If this was 2018 and the people have filed their applications to say they are contesting and she now comes out and says she is supporting this person, how can that be an issue?
“But we are still in 2017. We are still far away. Atiku Abubakar has not said he is contesting. He has not collected any form. He has not announced to anybody that he is contesting. So, that is what we mean by the timing. It is not that she had no right to say what she said.”
The APC leaders grilled the minister, who arrived the party headquarters at 1:59pm, for more than two hours.
Alhassan declined to talk to journalists after the meeting with the NWC, saying only that “I can’t talk when the APC spokesman is here with me. I’m not the party’s spokesperson.”