Yusuf Bello The presidency on Saturday distanced President Muhammed Buhari from the comment attributed to Mamman Daura on zoning of the country’s presidency as it did not reflect the view of the President.
Daura, the president’s nephew and confidant, had in an interview with the BBC Hausa service earlier in the week came out against rotational presidency, advocating instead, for competence in government positions.
Many socio-ethnic groups and some stakeholders in the country, while criticising Daura’s position, reminded him that Buhari, his relation did not become President of the country on merit.
But in a statement on Saturday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, while distancing the president from the view, however, noted that Daura is entitled to express his personal view on national issues.
The statement 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.
“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.
“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.”