The Presidency on Saturday said that the views expressed by Malam Mamman Daura, the nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, on zoning of presidential office in 2023 represented his personal views.
A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Malam Daura was not speaking on behalf of President Buhari and his administration.
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Shehu said0, “at age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of one of this country’s most influential newspapers, the New Nigerian, Malam Mamman qualified as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under the constitution and laws of the land.
The presidential media aide said the president’s nephew did not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.
The statement titled ‘Malam Mamman’s Views Are His Own, and He Has Said So -Presidency’ 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.
“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.”
Malam Daura had in the interview with BBC Hausa Service spoke about his relationship with the president and the 2023 presidency, suggesting that qualification should be prioritised over zoning.
Daura said, “after trying rotational presidency for three consecutive times, Nigeria needs to consider qualified candidates regardless of the region the candidate comes from in 2023 presidency.
However, his submission generated reactions as Afenifere and other political interest groups in the South condemned the elder statesman.
Also, both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected calls that political parties should jettison zoning and dwell on competence as a criterion for fielding candidates for the 2023 general election.