The Presidency said on Saturday that the recent views expressed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, about 2023 Presidency were his and not Buhari’s.
It noted that at 80 years of age, Daura was capable of holding an opinion of his own on issues bordering on the development of Nigeria.
Daura, perceived to be one of the most influential powers behind the Buhari Presidency, had in a recent interview, said rotational presidency was no longer necessary.
He argued that what Nigeria needed ahead of the 2023 poll, was someone with competence and the requisite qualifications, irrespective of his geographical or other leanings.
Daura spoke in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Incidentally, power is expected to rotate to the South of the country in 2023, in line with the ‘understanding’ reached between the North and South that power should rotate among them every eight years.
The understanding is not constitutional and it’s not backed by any law, though it has been observed since 1999.
But, Daura, in the interview, said Nigeria should jettison rotation for competence and qualifications in picking a candidate for 2023.
Being Buhari’s nephew, some commentators, groups and critics immediately suggested that he spoke the President’s mind and lampooned him seriously for it.
Reacting to the interview and the controversy it generated across the country, the Presidency stated that Daura spoke for himself.
The Presidency’s reaction, released by Buhari’s spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, is reproduced below:
“We have received numerous requests for comments on the interview granted by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service.
“It is important that we state from the onset that as mentioned by the interviewee, the views expressed were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the President or his administration.
“At age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of one of this country’s most influential newspapers, the New Nigerian, certainly, Malam Mamman qualifies as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under our constitution and laws of the land. He does not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.
“In an attempt to circulate the content of the interview to a wider audience, the English translation clearly did no justice to the interview, which was granted in Hausa, and as a result, the context was mixed up and new meanings were introduced and/or not properly articulated.
“The issues discussed during the interview, centred around themes on how the country could birth an appropriate process of political dialogue, leading to an evaluation, assessment and a democratic outcome that would serve the best interest of the average Nigerian irrespective of where they come from.
These issues remain at the heart of our evolving and young democracy, and as a veteran journalist, scholar and statesman, Malam Mamman has seen enough to add his voice to those of many other participants.”