By Kolawole Ojebisi
President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Malam Mamman Daura, has expressed his disapproval of presidential zoning arrangement,l in the country, saying, competence should be placed above ethnic consideration in choosing who occupies the exalted seat of the president of Nigeria.
Daura made the statement in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service.
Daura, who called zoning ‘turn by turn kind of government’, believes it is a mere tokenism that has done this country no good.
He said, “This turn by turn, it was done once, it was done twice, 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.”
The veteran journalist, however, debunked the rumour making the rounds that he has a dictatorial influence on President Muhammadu Buhari, stressing that he only advises and not dictates to him.
Daura has been rumoured to be the head of the so-called cabal that allegedly influences most decisions of the Buhari’s administration. It is even believed in some quarters that the cabal has the power of a de-facto president calling the shots while Buhari is just a dejure president.
Breaking the silence on his relationship with Buhari, Daura says he does not impose his decision on the president.
He said, “You don’t do that to the government”.
Daura, however, admitted that he visits him (Buhari) regularly and offers him advice at the request of the president.
“My father was their mother’s firstborn. Buhari is the last born,” Daura was quoted to have 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 the government.”
Recall Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife, has been critical of Daura. She once said a selected group of people was in power and not her husband.
Recall that in October 2019, a video of the first lady and Fatima, one of Daura’s daughter, in a heated argument surfaced online.
The first lady claimed she was denied access to an apartment in the presidential villa by Daura’s family.