The presidency has responded to the interview granted by Mallam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service.
In a statement on Saturday, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president said the views expressed by Mallam Daura in his interview were personal to him.
The presidency noted that it became necessary to respond to the comments generated after the interview details went public as Daura’s submission did not represent the view of the president or his administration.
The statement from the presidency, however, added that Daura is an elder statesman and has earned the right to hold personal views and make them public.
“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,” Shehu noted.
Naija News recalls Daura had in an interview with BBC Hausa Service submitted that competence should be prioritized over zoning in Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
After he said this, some people and groups, including the Igbo apex socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemned Daura’s comments, noting that it was unfair of him to seek an end to “rotation” after Buhari and the northern region had enjoyed two terms in quick succession.
The reactions have prompted a response from the presidency on Saturday who added that Daura’s submission and context might have been mixed up while trying to translate the contents of his interview from Hausa to English language.
“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.”
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.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) August 1, 2020