Nigeria: Former Women Affairs Minister, Alhassan 'Mama Taraba' Returns to PDP

15 September 2019

Former women affairs minister Aisha Alhassan popularly known as "Mama Taraba" who suffered massive defeat in the 2019 Governorship election in Taraba, says she has completed arrangements to return to the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Alhassan was the gubernatorial flag bearer of United Democratic Party (UDP) in the 2019 elections in which she scored only 14, 651 votes.

She joined the UDP on the eve of the polls after she failed to secure the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket, a party she contested under in 2015 and was able to secure 275,966 votes to come second in the governorship polls.

Alhassan was subsequently made the minister of women affairs and social development by President Muhammadu Buhari but had to resign amidst doubts over her political loyalty.

Alhassan told Journalists on Sunday after UDP stakeholders meeting in Jalingo that majority of her supporters in the 168 wards of Taraba had encouraged her to shift base to the PDP.

She said that the stakeholders meeting, which lasted till midnight on Saturday, drew participation from all those who contested for various political offices under the platform of the UDP, executive members of the party from the ward to state levels and other respected elders.

Alhassan added that more than 80 per cent of respondents in an opinion poll conducted by a committee headed Alhaji Abdulmumini Vaki, a former PDP chairman in the state, which covered the 16 LGAs, suggested that she should move to PDP.

The former minister said, based on the outcome of the opinion poll, she had no option than to go by the decision of majority members of the UDP.

According to the former minister, "I cannot go against the decision of the popular opinions of my supporters", adding that she was glad that the committee did not suggest the APC as an option.

A communiqué issued at the end of the stakeholders meeting, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo on Saturday night, recommended that two committees be set up immediately to fast track the defection process.

According to the communiqué which was signed by the state UDP Chairman, Alhaji Hassan Chul, the first committee is to visit the national leadership of the UDP in Abuja to express the appreciation of supporters of the former minister for providing her with the platform to run for the 2019 governorship election.

The communique added that the second committee is to arrange a meeting with PDP leadership in Taraba to work out modalities for the former minister's official return to the PDP.

NAN reports that Alhassan contested and won the election for the senatorial seat of Taraba North in 2011 under the PDP before defecting to APC in 2015.

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