Aisha Alhassan, Buhari’s Ex-Women Affairs Minister, Dies at 61

 

Former Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, has died at the age of 61.

 

Alhassan, who was popularly known as ‘Mama Taraba’, died on Friday from an unknown illness.

 

Alhassan, born in Jalingo, was the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 guber election in Taraba but lost to the incumbent Governor Darius Ishaku.

 

In 2018, she resigned from the Buhari administration over doubts of her political loyalty.

 

She then ran for the Taraba state governorship election months later.

 

After she failed to secure the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the poll, Alhassan decamped to the United Democratic Party (UDP), where she emerged as the party’s flagbearer.

 

She eventually lost in the election and returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where she had been in the previous years.

 

Before defecting to APC in 2015, the former minister contested and won the election for the senatorial seat of Taraba north in 2011 under the PDP.

 

Her loyalty in Buhari’s government was in doubt as she was a known supporter of Atiku Abubakar, the president’s political rival.

 

Even as a minister, she declared support for the 2019 presidential ambition of Abubakar, an action that angered the APC leadership.

 

It was that action and similar others that led the APC to disqualify her when he sought the party’s governorship ticket in Taraba.

 

In a letter informing President Muhammadu Buhari of her resignation, Alhassan said she had always been a committed and loyal party member and was at no time queried or admonished for any wrongdoing.

 

She told the president she chose to quit the APC over what she described as “grave injustice”.

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