I’ll Respond To Calls to Contest in 2019 After Due Consultations, Says Alhassan

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By Wole Ayodele in Jalingo

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Jummai Alhassan, has declared that her decision to contest the 2019 gubernatorial election in Taraba State would be taken after a statewide consultation.

 Reacting to calls by several youth organisations across the state to contest in 2019, Alhassan while fielding questions from journalists yesterday after the local government congress of the APC in Jalingo, said she would not respond to the calls until she finished consultations across the state.

Alhassan, who was the APC candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Taraba State, noted that she has heard the calls of the youths who gathered from across all the local government areas of the state at the Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo to urge her to contest and would respond to their call at the right time.

 “The situation is not different from what happened in 2012 when stakeholders from Taraba Central met me to say I should contest in 2015. I discussed with my husband and when he gave me the go ahead, I then went round the state to consult people before I yielded to their call.

 “Now that my children, the youths of Taraba State deemed me fit, saw me fit and feel I will be the one to help them when I become the governor, I will still have to consult very wide like I did before. But they have every right to call me. It is happening everywhere across the country whereby people are being called to contest,” she said.

 The minister, who had participated in the APC local government congresses described the exercise as very transparent and peaceful saying there was consensus in all the 16 local government areas.

“The local government congresses of the APC in Taraba was conducted in a transparent and peaceful manner.

“There was consensus in all the 16 local government areas of the state without any complain from any quarter and we are taken that into the election.”

She however revealed that her recent visit to political party head offices to seek more space for women participation in the political process was beginning to yield results.

Alhassan disclosed that she has been to the headquarters of APC, PDP and Labour Party and would visit all the other political parties to appeal for 35 per cent affirmation for women to be enshrined in their constitutions.

She noted that though many people misunderstood the purpose of her visit, especially to the head office of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), she remained resolute in achieving her goal saying as Minister of Women Affairs, she would continue to lobby for more political space and support for Nigerian women.