Zoning: Presidency distances self from Mamman Daura’s interview

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* Says it was his personal views, did not reflect the President’s

The Presidency on Saturday said the views expressed by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, in the controversial  BBC Hausa Service interview on zoning of presidency, were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of the President or his administration.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement said at age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of New Nigerian Newspaper, Malam Mamman Daura qualified as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under our constitution and laws of the land.

“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 outset 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,” Shehu said.

The Presidential aide further stated that Malam Mamman Daura did not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.

Shehu also explained that 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.

He said the issues discussed during the interview, centred on 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.”

Shehu added that these issues remained 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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