President Muhammadu Buhari has distanced himself from the comments made by his nephew, Malam Mamman Daura, that Nigeria no longer needs zoning or rotational presidency to get competent leadership for the country.
In a statement issued Saturday by his media assistant, Garba Shehu, the President said emphatically that Daura was on his own as it concerns the comments as they had no imprint of Aso Rock.
The comments were contained in an interview Daura granted to BBC Hausa Service, but Shehu said the translation into English may have resulted to mix-up in context and meaning.
According to Shehu: “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.
“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.”