The party noted that by all standards of decorum, the minister had betrayed her loyalty to the administration in which she was appointed to serve, noting that under normal circumstances, she should have resigned her position before making her comments.
The Organising Secretary of the Adamawa State Chapter of the APC, Ahmed Lawan, stated this on Friday in Yola while giving the position of the party on the 2019 presidential election.
The party said its endorsement of President Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo should they decide to contest the 2019 election had yet to change.
Lawan said Alhassan could have waited since 2019 was just around the corner before voicing her comment, which he said was aimed at kickstarting the presidential election bid of another member of the party.
Chiding the minister, the party further said her focus right now should be on governance.
He said, “Even if President Buhari is not going to contest in 2019, it is too hasty for her to pronounce. She should have waited until next year. If Mr. President then says he’s not going to contest, then she can say what she has said.
“This is coming earlier than expected. How does she want Mr. President to tell her he’s going to re-contest in 2019 when we are still in 2017? Even before he finally decided to contest in 2015, did Mr. President say he was going to contest? No. It was people who piled pressure on him to contest.
“We all know he said he was not going to contest [in any election again]. It was the Yoruba people and some people in the North who pressured him into contesting.”
Meanwhile, Lawan said if President Buhari decides not to contest in 2019, there was still no vacancy in Aso Rock because Osinbajo remained a better alternative to lead the country.
He said, “Even if Buhari decides not to contest, we already have a credible alternative in his Vice-President, Prof. Osinbajo. So the Villa is not vacant come 2019. If Buhari is not going to contest, Osinbajo is there. If indeed we are talking about one Nigeria, then we have to display it in 2019.
“Forget about this man coming from the North and this other man coming from the South. The important thing to ask is who will better serve Nigerians. Buhari has already laid a very good foundation for Nigerians with his anti-corruption war.
“If Buhari says he can no longer continue, we already have somebody with the same mind, the same thinking like Baba Buhari. The future of Nigeria is what we should be thinking about, not to bring somebody who will only think of himself, his wives and his family.”
The party also said former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar would not be fair to the party if he was talking of running for the presidential election of 2019 now “when the main focus of all party members should be governance.”
Meanwhile, a former Kwara State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Iyiola Oyedepo, and another party chieftain, Mr. Nurudeen Adeyemi, have urged the Federal Government not to vilify Alhassan.
Oyedepo and Adeyemi stated that Alhassan’s position was in consonance with democratic principles of freedom of speech and belief, adding that her position exemplified principle and tenacity to one’s ideology in politics.
Speaking during a summit at Esie, Kwara State, on Friday, Oyedepo said the minister should not be vilified, adding that her position was a good development in the annals of Nigeria’s politics.
He said, “It is a good development. If you can be in government and talk against that government, I think it is a very good development. People should maintain their ideologies and principles.
“She believes that she has independence of mind. She should not be vilified. The mark of civilisation is that the President should still retain her as minister. It is a good development for our politics.”
Also, Adeyemi said nobody, including the minister, should be threatened or crucified for holding an opinion consistent with democratic tenets.
He also advised that politics should be based on ideology and ideas, adding that Nigerians should stop the politics of persecution and personality.
Adeyemi said, “It is a freedom of expression. You should be open to criticism for and against. Democracy means free speech. I cannot censor anybody on what they have to say. When you come out openly with your ideology, you should expect people to clap for you and others to be against it.”