The presidency has distanced itself from the controversial comment made by Mamman Daura, a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari over zoning of the country’s top job.
In a statement on Saturday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said Buhari does not share Daura’s view.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Daura, rejected zoning, saying the most competent Nigerian should succeed his uncle in 2023.
That statement did not go do well with most Nigerians, who accused him of rejecting zoning after his uncle had benefited immensely from it.
In reaction to the controversy sparked by Daura, the presidency said, “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,” Shehu said.
“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.
“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.”