The Presidency has dismissed comments made by Mamman Daura about zoning, during a recent radio interview, saying it did not “in any way” reflect the views of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The position of the President was made known by his Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, who in a statement on Saturday, noted that Daura’s views as expressed during the interview with the BBC Hausa Service were “personal to him.”
“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.”
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During the week, Daura had in the interview told the BBC Hausa Service that rotational leadership has failed the country and there is a need to now look “for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere”.
The Presidency believes the comments, which drew strong criticism from several people including groups such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere, were taken out of context.
“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,” said the Presidency’s statement.
“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.
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“The issues discussed during the interview, centered 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.”