Although everyone is entitled to their opinions, yet someone like Mamman Daura should have no justification or any moral right to discuss Nigeria’s succession plans after contributing to putting the country in the quagmire it found itself.
When Mallam Mamman Daura granted interview to the BBC some days ago and was asked about the zone where the next President should come from. And he responded that zoning should be discarded and competence be embraced. That immediately pushed the country into an intense debate and further exposes the mutual distrusts and hidden drawn line between the two regions of the country.
This became so because of his closeness and relationship to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari which he reiterated in the said interview as his uncle. It is no longer a secret that Mamman Daura is the arrow head of the Buhari’s Presidency and often referred to as the Prime Minister of Nigeria. Therefore, it is understandable why people and tribal groups such as Afenifere and Ohaneze will react to this position strongly. Some wonder why the Chief Cabal had to grant that interview specifically on this subject when all along he has been operating in the shadows, unless something was in the offing, and a lot of people were wondering if he was send by the President and whether the President wanted to jettison the gentleman agreement that existed between the north and the south regions of the country after benefiting from such arrangement that helps keeps the balance in place and unity of a very fragile country together.
While investigations from those close to the President revealed that the President do not share the same opinion and had no any inkling that his powerful nephew will give such interview, but the question still remains what does Mamman Daura wanted to achieve with that interview? To heat up an already tensed polity or is the seat of power so sweet that he wanted to take over from his uncle, a food for thought that only time will answer.
But an important question is if Mamman Daura believes in the ideology of competency and merit, does it mean such can only be found in the Northern part of the country, considering that all his actions and history has hardly shown him supporting or recommending anyone from the southern part to any position while he held sway as the leader of the Kaduna Mafia and recently as the most powerful person in Nigeria where it is a public knowledge that he influences at least more than 80% of appointments in this Administration. Appointments that are obviously largely skewed in favor of his region (North). It will be grossly unfair for the North to even think or attempt to retain power after spending eight years there with largely nothing to show even in the region. Today, insecurity in the North is worse than any part of the country while poverty is ravaging the region. All indices of developments remain largely in the negative. Was that the kind of competency Mamman Daura is advocating for in 2023?
Some social commentators have recalled the interview the First Lady Aisha Buhari gave sometimes in 2016 when she dropped the bombshell via an interview to the same medium (BBC) that there exists two men who controlled the government of the day and subsequently it became so glaring that Mamman Daura was one of those two people referred. In that interview of 2016, the First Lady revealed how these cabal hijacked everything in the country from appointments in Government to other political patronage which resulted into the abandonment of those who toiled and sacrificed to build the very platform that President Buhari ran under.
Mamman Daura’s idea of competency was and still can only be found in the Northern Nigeria, we have seen all the competency this administration paraded, with the various Security Chiefs that are 90% from the North and yet with daunting insecurity challenges still persisting in the country. With nepotism and mediocrity being the order of the day against meritocracy under this Government, one must pause to ask what kind of competency was Mamman Daura referring to. Is it the one where all those that surrounded the President are either his nephews or married into the Daura’s family.
Where was this new found sense of “competency” when big oil contracts and major government contracts were being awarded to only their friends and cronies in a country that belongs to all sections and ethnic nationalities.
The man talking about competency has his children deeply rooted in the most lucrative positions in Government of the day, all but one. While the other children of Nigeria were left to fight and scavenge for few positions in the N30,000 a month stipend N-Power, the supposedly incompetent ones in the eyes of Mamman Daura.
While the Department of State Security recently issued a general warning to Nigerians to desist from trying to act against the interest of the nation through polarization of the country, they will do well to beam their searchlight towards people like Mamman Daura. Charity should start from home, as it is often said.
Afenifere and Ohaneze and other well meaning Nigerians were right to be concerned with this new found concept of “Competency” from the Daura’s stable.
Finally, although everyone is entitled to their opinions, yet someone like Mamman Daura should have no justification or any moral right to discuss Nigeria’s succession plans after contributing to putting the country in the quagmire it found itself.
Dr. Rafiu Olaniyan is a social commentator and writes from Lagos