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Mamman Daura: Competence, not Geography Should be Priority in Choosing Nigeria’s Next President

President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura who is believed by many to be the head of the kitchen cabinet of the Buhari administration, has weighed in on the controversial issue of zoning and rotation of the nation’s presidency, stating that competence, not geography should be the most important priority in choosing Buhari’s successor in 2023.

“This turn-by-turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and 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 told the BBC Hausa Service in an interview.

Daura rubbished the clamour for power shift, calling instead for a united front to enable the most competent person to lead Nigeria after the Buhari era.

According to him, since Nigerians have tried the rotational presidency about thrice already, it would be better to go for the most qualified candidate in 2023 irrespective of whether he comes from the North or the South. He pointed that this would be better for the nation’s unity.

He also spoke about his relationship with the president, revealing that contrary to the dominant view in the public domain, he could not possibly dictate public policy to the president.

“Yes, I do visit him to greet him; I do give him advice, but if he asked…I advise him. 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,” he said.

He denied imposing his views on the president, explaining that while he had access, he was mindful not to take undue advantage of his relationship, pointing out that it would be inappropriate to intervene in the conduct of public affairs without the request of the president.

Daura clarified his relationship with Buhari thus: “My father was their mother’s firstborn. Buhari is the last born.”

He disclosed that he grew up with the president and that they had always been close.