President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew and long-time close associate, Mamman Daura, has finally broken his silence on speculations that he controls the current administration through an influential cabal in the presidential villa.
The highly respected technocrat and industrialist is rumoured to be the head of the purported cabal allegedly influencing most decisions and policies implemented by the Buhari administration.
But the revelation coming from him puts to rest claims that he is part of a very powerful cabal in the presidency which determines and controls what the president does.
Spurning allegations of an existing cabal in Aso Rock, Daura in an interview with BBC Hausa Service said he only plays an advisory role in the Buhari presidency, adding that he advises only on the president’s request.
Asked about his relationship with President Buhari, Daura who noted that he has never imposed any decision on the president said the president is his uncle. “My father was their mother’s firstborn. Buhari is the last born,” he stated.
On whether he has been meeting Buhari and advising him on issues, Daura said, “Yes, I do visit him to greet him. I do give him advice, but if he asked.
“But I don’t go there on my own and insist I must do this or that. No, you don’t do that to the government.”
On the clamour for power shift, he said it is time the country united and go for the most competent.
“This turn-by-turn, it was done once, it was done twice, it was done thrice. It is better for this country to be one, it should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere,” he said.
Many Nigerians had been critical of Daura, claiming that there is a ‘cabal,’ whose influence on the decisions taken by Buhari and the presidency is immense.
But President Buhari has repeatedly refuted the claims that certain individuals among his aides and relatives were influencing his government.
In one of his interviews, Buhari was quoted as saying, ‘I was the one who went round the country on campaigns, and I was the one voted into office as President, twice. No one else did, and no one else took the oath of office, and can exercise the powers of a President.”
Mamman Daura, a journalist, was Editor of the influential New Nigerian from 1969 to 1973 and Managing Director from 1973 to 1976 before retiring into big business and industrial entrepreneurship. He was a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee that drafted the 1979 Constitution. He was also at different times the chairman of NTA and the Africa International Bank and has been chairman or board member of more than 50 private and public companies.