He’s popularly described as the head of the kitchen cabinet of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
He’s not just Buhari’s nephew. He recently spoke glowingly with passion how he grew up with the President, saying: “My father was their mother’s firstborn. Buhari is the last born.”
That’s the kind of wonderful relationship Mamman Daura enjoys with the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.
To a very large extent, Daura is seen as the last man standing of an open-secret powerful political clique in the contemporary Nigeria, after the demise of two of Buhari’s closest friends, Samaila Isa Funtua, and late presidential Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
So, whatever was spewed out by Daura could not be treated with kid’s gloves.
Speaking on the vexatious issue of zoning and rotational presidency in Nigeria on Wednesday, Daura advocated that competence, not mere geographical representation should determine the next presidency of the world’s largest Black nation come 2023 general elections.
According to him, “This turn-by-turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done thrice…It is better for this country to be one…It should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere.”
Buhari’s ally, who stated this during an interview on BBC Hausa Service, did not just discountenance the usual political trajectory for power shift in Nigeria, he went ahead to sermonise over, perhaps, newfound philosophy in the present administration towards uniting behind the most competent candidate to take over the mantle of leadership in 2023.
Daura’s philosophical positions were predicated on the fact that the unwritten rotational presidency since 1999 political sojourn in Nigeria has produced little or no significant development across the nation.
He contested that it’s time to go for the most qualified candidate in 2023 irrespective of whether the person comes from the North or the South.
Is Daura speaking and stylishly revealing Buhari’s current state of mind?
Though Daura explained that he has no right to possibly dictate public policy to Buhari, he said: “Yes, I do visit him to greet him. I do give him advice, but if he asked…I advise him. But I don’t go there on my own and insist I must do this or that. No. You don’t do that to a government.”
Indeed, it can be taken for granted that Daura may not be in position to dictate and teleguide Buhari as it’s being widely insinuated. But what cannot be denied is the fact that Daura has the ears of the President cum unfettered access to the presidency. Whatever he says over a national matter like controversial zoning formula and rotational presidency cannot be dismissed just like that.
If and indeed, in fact, the only next level agenda Buhari can promote in Nigeria is competence over tempestuous rotational presidency, I think Nigeria may just be on the road to a greater height.
Enough of this ethnic-prone rotational presidency which celebrates and massages jingoistic ego at the expense of competence and quality leadership.
By Idowu Sowunmi