President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Alhaji Mamman Daura had stirred the pot with his recent statement suggesting that the country should favor competence over zoning or power rotation in determining future leaders of the country.
Daura had suggested in an interview he granted the Hausa Service of the BBC, that zoning has failed to produce credible and competent leaders in the past, as such, should be discarded.
He said, “Rotation has been done once, twice and three times; it is important that this nation is united as one; the most qualified/competent should be elected and not someone who comes from a particular zone.”
As reactions condemning Daura’s position on zoning continues to appear from all angles, the Presidency on Saturday, distanced itself from Daura’s statement, but admit he has the right to air his opinion on national issues.
The President through his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Malam Daura was not speaking on behalf of President Buhari and his administration.
Shehu said, “at age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of one of this country’s most influential newspapers, the New Nigerian, Malam Mamman qualified as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under the constitution and laws of the land.
The presidential media aide said the president’s nephew did not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.
The statement titled ‘Malam Mamman’s Views Are His Own, and He Has Said So -Presidency’ read: “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.
“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.”