BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – The Presidency has declared that the views expressed by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the President or his administration.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, however, said that 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 that Malam Mamman does not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.

The Presidency which said that it received numerous requests for comments on the interview granted by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service, explained that in an attempt to circulate the content of the interview to a wider audience, the English translation of the BBC 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.

According to Shehu; “The issues discussed during the interview, centred around 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.

“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,” the Presidency said.

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