Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, yesterday, in a statement titled “Malam Mamman’s views are his own, and he has said so -Presidency”, said that the comment credited to the President’s nephew, Mamman Daura, was his personal opinion.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service, Daura had said competence should be considered for the next President in 2023 rather than zoning.
But the president’s aide said as mentioned by Daura, his position was his personal opinion and not that of the President, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), or his regime.
“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 outset 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,” the statement read.
Below are reactions from Nigerians, BREAKINGTIMES gathered from Twitter:
@iykimo: “Garba Shehu released a statement on the interview granted by Mamman Daura… 😂😂😂 This is what some of you fought your friends and family members for in 2015?? IDIOTS.”
@ayemojubar: “Mamman Daura: Aside that being an editor and MD of an influential newspaper doesn’t qualify anyone to be an elder statesman, whoever decided to confer such title on himself should be subtle with his opinions in public when it concerns national issues.”
@iInibeheEffiong: “Are you Mamman Daura’s spokesman? What gives you the locus standi to ‘clarify’ or ‘explain’ the interview?You claimed the views were personal to him.Yet, you issued a formal statement on his behalf.You’ve confirmed yet again, that Mamman Daura is the de facto President.”
@zurmacious__Jr: “Mamman Daura says choosing tangible, qualitative, honest and trusted candidate from any region in Nigeria to rule is far better than rotational presidency. Only destabilize people going against the progress of Nigeria.”
@Kayodebakre8: “Kyari don die now. It is time to make Mamman Daura the Shadow President or Leader of one Cabal Social media created. You people don’t know Buhari 😆. He is one man Cabal.”
@JubrinIbrahim17: “Mallam @GarShehu you said Mamman Daura was speaking for himself but why were you explaining what he meant. You speak for @MBuhari not him.”
@OguchiJoel: “Mamman daura is now dancing the dance of spirit for him to speaks in this manner means a lot but only those who understand the things of spirit will know what is going on only what will save him is to tell the world that Buhari is dead if not watch out and see what will happen.