An ally of President Muhammadu Buhari for over 45 years, Lawal Idris has said that Mamman Daura, the “powerful nephew” of the president controls the presidency.
He said “Firstly, Mamman is a sadist and has no respect for anybody, not even Buhari. The problem is that the godfather never sleeps, which is Mamman Daura.
Idris in a chat with newsmen said “As long as Buhari cannot get Mamman away from his side, his problem will continue.”
”When Buhari was sworn-in, he swore by the Qur’an that he would be fair and we believed him. He said he belonged to no one but I knew he belong to Mamman Daura; Abba Kyari and Mamman are failed bankers and failed industrialists.
”As at November, 2016, Abba was still a Director of Exxon Mobil; Abba is Buhari’s Chief of Staff, he is a member of the Board of Directors of NNPC what a super brainy, workaholic?
”And Abba is Mamman’s poodle; whatever Abba is doing, it is Mamman that controls it. I know it and they know that I know it and they know me very well”.
Idris insisted that even with ministers and other government staff, Mamman still calls the shots in Nigeria
”How did he (Buhari) get some of the ministers? Many were through Mamman Daura. How did he get some of the staff around him, it was through Mamman Daura.
“I am more than sure, Buhari knows I know and Mamman knows I know. I am an insider, not an outsider. I started this project (Buhari’s journey into politics) because of the faith I had in Buhari.
”Mamman Daura is just a joke. He never wanted Buhari’s presidency because a week after Buhari was sworn-in, on Friday, we met at a mosque here in Kaduna.
”I walked to Mamman to greet him; there was this confidence that had taken a better part of him like he is now Mr President. Mamman told me that he and Mahmud didn’t like Buhari’s presidency. And I said ‘ranka ya dade’, you don’t like it’ and he said “yes”.
”I was surprised and he saw the surprise on my face. He just changed the topic and said “you know uncle (Buhari) does not like politicians and politicians don’t like him”. I said sir, but election has been won.
”Whether politicians like it or not, whether Buhari likes it or not, he has to work with politicians and politicians have to work with him for the betterment of our country. For me, God has given me what I wanted.
”When Mamman told me that, I offered suggestions on even the way to get finances for the party. I said the way they were going was not the way they should. Now there is no APC in a way and Buhari is ill. Luckily Buhari has a very good vice president”.
Mamman Daura is believed to be one of those Aisha Buhari’s wife said did not participate in her husband’s campaign but were now in control of government.
Mamman is the son of Buhari’s elder brother and three years older than the president he still calls “uncle”.
He was a journalist and an industrialist, serving as head of the African International Bank and also chairman of the board of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). He was editor of New Nigerian in the 1970s.
In the book, Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria, John Paden, an American professor, offers a historical insight into the significant role Daura played in the formative years of his “uncle”.
According to Paden, it was Daura, along with Waziri al-Hassan (Buhari’s foster father), that encouraged Buhari, a reluctant student in his early years, “to settle down and take his studies seriously”.
Paden revealed that “after the death of his mother in December 1988, Buhari was released and traveled to Daura for the mourning. When he arrived in Daura, he found his farm much as he had left it. His senior brother (the father of Mamman Daura), along with the Barden Daura, had managed the cattle, sheep, and horses in his absence”.
The George Mason University professor wrote: “When Buhari’s father died, Waziri al-Hasan – the son of Emir Musa became the guardian of Zulaihat (Buhari’s mother) and her six children, including her youngest, Muhammadu. This played a major role in the upbringing of Buhari.
“This extensive kinship network also affected the future of Buhari in another important way. His senior brother was the father of Mamman Daura, who was three years older than Buhari, although technically his nephew. Mamman would become a life-long inspiration and confidant to Buhari. He was especially critical in encouraging Buhari to pursue lifelong education.
“Like many boys at that time and place, Buhari went to Quranic school before going to primary school. He was not enthusiastic about these studies. Early each morning, he would get up and have to fetch firewood for his teacher for the evening Qur’anic readings. There were also several hours of Qur’anic lessons in the morning, at a time when Buhari would rather be outside playing.
“In part because of his love of the outdoors, Buhari was a reluctant student in his early years. He would often skip school altogether, although this always resulted in beatings with a cane by the schoolmaster. Only with the encouragement of Waziri al-Hasan and Mamman Daura did he eventually settle down and take his studies seriously.”