The presidency said on Saturday the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, on the emergence of the country’s future leaders did not in any way reflect the president’s view or that of his administration.
Daura had said in a chat with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) earlier this week that merit and competence rather than zoning should be considered in determining who becomes the country’s next president.
In its reaction to the criticism of the octogenarian over the interview, the presidency in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, said Daura who had served as editor and managing director of one of the most influential newspapers in the country, the New Nigerian, did not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise his right of free speech as guaranteed in the constitution.
He said in an attempt to translate the interview which was granted in Hausa, into English, the context was mixed up and new meanings were introduced and/or not properly articulated.
The statement 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.
“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.”
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