The Presidency has distanced itself from an interview granted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, where he said the next President of the country should not be chosen based on zoning but competence.
Daura in an interview with BBC Hausa service earlier this week had said 2023 presidential election should not be based on zoning.
The Southern part of the country has been looking forward to the presidency in 2023 after President Buhari who is from the Northern part would have completed his eight years in power .
However, Daura’s statement in the interview riled leaders from the South as they expressed disbelief that the North is not ready to hand over power to the the southerners.
While condemning Daura’s statement, they were of the opinion that he might have spoken the mind of President Buhari because of his closeness with him.
Meanwhile, the Presidency in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, on Saturday, said Daura’s statement was his personal view and not the President’s.
Shehu noted that Daura with his experience and status qualifies 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 statement read in part; “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.