President Muhammadu Buhari’s cousin Malam Adnan Nahabu Daura has said that the number of bad people who surround the president is giving his government an ugly image and his family cause for concern. He said Buhari needs to urgently flush them out to give Nigerians sense of belonging in his administration. He dismissed claims by leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu that the president is not the original Buhari elected into office in 2015, saying two different family meetings held with the president recently in Daura, Katsina state proved the allegation wrong. Daura spoke further on various issues including the chances of Buhari winning the 2019 poll in this interview conducted by ABDULLAHI HASSAN in Zaria.
President Muhammadu is facing serious political challenges in his struggle to be elected for a second term especially with the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential flag bearer of PDP. What do you think are the chances of Buhari in 2019?
Let me start by telling you that the chances of Buhari winning a second term in office is sure by God’s grace. It is a matter of time; all indicators are there on ground to pave way for the president’s continuity in office after 2019 elections. It has always been the case in party politics; you find sharp competitions among contestants and the incumbent must be ready to face challenges from the opponents. Remember our president is a General in the Army; he is used to all sorts of rigour and counter challenges. So, I believe he is still equal to the task.
Are you saying the defections from the ruling party to the main opposition party are no signs of threat to Buhari’s re-election bid?
There is a clear demarcation between politicians and the electorate. The politicians who defect from one party to another are doing so for selfish political interests but the masses don’t care about that; their concern is only who appears to be credible and competent. In this case, the Nigerian masses who constitute majority of the electorate are with President Buhari. So, defection or no defection, Mr. President remains the most credible of all contestants including Atiku Abubakar himself whose greed for power and records are well known by Nigerians. So, I assure you that Buhari will win with wider margin.
Many Nigerians believe that the greatest weakness of President Buhari is the way he allows some of his aides to abuse their positions by engaging in massive corruption and pursuing self seeking agenda. What is your reaction this?
I don’t know who specifically you are referring as aides. But the fact is that there are bad elements in this government and such kinds of people are everywhere. Let me share with you what happened to me recently in Abuja. I booked to see one of the presidential aides to brief him on a very important and burning political issue but you can’t imagine how he treated me. First, I did not go for contract and I am not a partisan politician neither did I go there to beg for a favour. In fact, I left a note in his house before going to his office. Surprisingly, when he saw my note, according to his secretary, he tore it to pieces without reading it. And he later refused to grant me audience. So, you can see that there are these kinds of people in Buhari’s government. In the real sense, such people are not supposed to be found in authority or power cycle. They don’t care what happens to Mr. President, his politics and success of his policies. It is true that some of them have dominated Buhari’s government, and it is really sad to have them in this administration. I believe there should be some corrections in the way and manner these people operate under the leadership of a good man and committed person like Muhammadu Buhari. This is because these aides do not have listening attitude and feelings for people; instead, they are concerned about their selfish gains and aggrandizement.
With your observation, one wonders why the president still keeps them close to himself. Is it their fault to remain in government or the president’s fault for keeping them in his cabinet?
Most of the things that are happening, the president doesn’t know. But some good people who have access to him, I believe they must be telling him about these people. Sometimes, the president puts them on watch before he takes action. It is unfortunate, that Mr. President assumes that these people are good and not knowing they are too bad and corrupt. Unless these people are fished out and thrown out of the system, Nigerians would continue to suffer. Thank God Nigerians are beginning to know them one by one as enemies of Buhari’s administration. I cannot keep quiet; I must tell Mr. President the truth about these kinds of people that he works with so that he would be careful.
Another criticism against President Buhari is the way he allows himself to be influenced by some governors and former governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, especially on issues that relate to the APC and its policies. What can you say on this?
That is not true my friend. People should understand that Mr. President is well aware of the demarcations between policies and party matters. There are constitutional issues that must be shared concurrently between state and the federal. Therefore, Mr President cannot overlap into state powers. What is happening in states are mostly issues that are within the responsibilities of the governors. I don’t see a reason why people should be relating states’ issues to Buhari. I think it’s wrong. Though, if they are talking of monitoring of policy, of course, from time to time and when it is absolutely necessary, Mr. President can go into the matter, like bail out, Paris Club refund, salary and wages increment etc.
But if it is on politics, the matter is entirely different. Mr. President, despite the fact that both governors and any other elected officer enjoy the popularity and political patronage of President Buhari during elections, yet there are limitations to which Mr. President can intervene. Of course, his intervention on issues has to be clearly defined by nature and circumstances of the issue, because there are state crises that President Buhari can venture into. For example, the Kano crisis where Governor Ganduje is facing charges of bribery based on one journalist’s revelations. How do you expect Mr. President to intervene in that crisis when the State House of Assembly is already investigating the matter. On Asiwaju Tinubu, the relationship is just political. More importantly, Tinubu is a major stakeholder in APC, the party that brought this government to power.
Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader alleged that the current president, Muhammadu Buhari is fake and that the original Buhari has died since January this year. He said the sitting president is one Jibril from Sudan and as Buhari’s blood relation, what is your take on that?
It is really a funny and sad thing. Nnamdi Kanu has a chicken brain, otherwise how can he transmit this kind of thought and information to Nigerians who are intelligent , brilliant and exposed to life. The president cannot just die and information about him would be kept secret for more than a year, looking at the inquisitive nature of Nigerians. In fact, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was reported dead before his natural death. Even President Buhari was last year reported to have died until when a video showed him and his family live before Nigerians believed that he was alive. And everyone saw how he was received from medical trip and how he resumed work up to this year when he decided to visit his doctor in London after he returned from China. He was physically healthy at the time he left Nigeria. There is no any abracadabra that you can do to hide the death of Mr. President. Kanu made the absurd statement after he drank to excess, or was afflicted with all sorts of frustrations. This Kanu is a rebel and enemy of the law of Nigeria who is condemned by his own people. As a blood relation of Buhari, we are telling Kanu that he is a blunt and shameless liar. Anybody in Nigeria that knows Buhari 20 years ago, and sees him now , knows he is the same man with the same height, colour and all characteristics.
To prove Kanu wrong and that he is a shameless liar; the family held meetings with Mr President twice this year precisely during Eid el- Kabir Sallah celebrations in August this year. We chatted, discussed and he recounted past and other memorable events in the family that involved each and every one of us. The question to ask is when did this Jibril learn everything in the family that could make him to be our Muhammadu Buhari. I think Kanu should know that we are not illiterates, nor barbarians that he can make these kinds of silly statements to. Let him fool his fools, certainly not Buhari’s relations or Nigerians. The only thing that changed in Mr. President is his physical structure, and this is because he is ageing. Apart from that, there is nothing missing or part of his structure or attitude that has changed. He is the same Buhari we knew long time ago. So, he is just talking nonsense.
Don’t you think that Kanu’s allegations will make a serious impact on Buhari’s campaign for 2019 elections?
No, not at all; I told you that the statement was nonsensical and foolish; that is why only few cynics of Buhari’s administration pay attention to it. Buhari has recently overcome many character assassinations like the one by Kanu. There was a sickness saga, later WAEC certificate. We have tolerated this Kanu a lot, he has insulted our country, we kept mute; he has insulted our culture , still we kept quiet and now he is insulting our patriotic leaders and we will not keep silent again. It is only in Nigeria you will find this rubbish happening and citizens will not take any action because of the acclaimed – democratic rule. I think breaching the rights of other citizens in a country like Nigeria is unconstitutional and undemocratic. As such, Nnamdi Kanu must be brought and punished accordingly.
With Buhari’s record so far especially with complaints of ravaging poverty in the land, do you think he deserves a second term?
To be specific, more Nigerians especially our teeming youths have been employed directly or indirectly through various programmes. Needless to talk about agriculture. More than ever before, Nigeria has produced the highest agricultural output. Farmers have access to loan and input freely. Security is another indisputable achievement of Buhari administration; road construction, and power sector rehabilitation as well as labour especially with the acceptance of N30,000 minimum wage. It is part of the good records of this administration.