Dr. Junaid Mohammed, a second Republic politician, and one of those who said so many vile things about ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has said relatives of President Muhammadu Buhari are in charge of policies in the Presidential villa and the by implication, the Nigeria state.
Mohammed a Hong Kong trained surgeon had told Pointblanknews.com weeks before the presidential election “he (Buhari) does not have the required qualities to be President in a Nigeria of the 21st century. I will not support a leader based on mob sentiment. if they say that Buhari is the voice of the Talakawa, how does he relate to the Talakawa?”
The academic, in an interview in Kano, outlined the ingredients a prospective Nigeria’s president should have and insisted that his close associate, Buhari, does not possess those ingredients.
“When I look for a political leader, I want to be comfortable with the people who are surrounding him – a people of intellects, integrity and sound education. People who can be judged by their previous performances in previous roles. Now, these are judgments I have to make, and I believe, the judgments Nigerians have to make.”
Buhari had come under sundry flak for his style of appointments to key positions. Most troubling are those in charge of security, military and law enforcement, who are predominantly from one section of Nigeria.
Junaid in a recent chat said Buhari’s relatives are the ones dictating policy in Aso Rock for 170 million Nigerians, adding nepotism to the festering allegation of narrow mindedness levelled against the president, who critics say surrounds himself with Northerners in running national affairs.
Mohammed, radical politician and Second Republic lawmaker, named at least seven relatives of the president who are the power behind the throne in the Villa – apart from the heads of all vital security agencies who are from the from the North.
In a recent telephone interview with TheNicheng.com from his base in Kano, Mohammed accused Buhari of giving key positions to his cousins, nephews, and in-laws, and is therefore guilty of the corruption he is trying to fight.
Mohammed, a virulent critic of former President Goodluck Jonathan, and originally a supporter of Buhari, said nepotism compromises Buhari’s ability to rule the country well, fight corruption, and deal with rogue lawmakers who pose a threat to his administration.
His words: “As far as I am concerned, nothing will come by way of contention with the National Assembly (NASS) and the executive branch, because both of them have a mindset which is completely antithetical to democracy.
“Both the president, particularly his principal adviser, his nephew, one nonentity called Mamman Daura; then the Chief of Staff [Abba Kyari], who in fact was brought up by Mamman Daura; and the scoundrel who is the Secretary to the Government of Federation [Babachir David], including most of the incompetent ministers, are not cut out to work harmoniously in a political environment with the legislature.
“On the legislative side, they want to continue business as usual; that will mean impunity, blackmail, open corruption to extort money from ministries, departments and agencies of federal and state governments, because they did not come into politics to serve.
“They came to make money. That is the basic fact.
“You can see why it is impossible for anybody, no matter how reasonable, to work with the National Assembly, especially the Senate, because unless you are prepared to open up the national treasury and offer it to them, there is going to be no peace between the executive branch and them.
“And of course, there is the unfortunate, additional bad luck of Buhari being surrounded by his own relations who are not politicians. They are not even members of the APC (All Progressives Congress) but dictate policy, especially Mamman Daura. So I can see no peace, I can see no cooperation, and God save Nigeria.”
Mohammed said Buhari must apply the law equitably and justly in his fight against corruption and insurgents such as Boko Haram and Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
“He has to do that, and listen more to Nigerians, and not this arrogant posture, and the crooks he appointed into cabinet.
“But unfortunately, for the country and for Buhari’s legacy himself, he has packed the government, and especially the Presidency, which is really the centre of power, and made it top heavy with his own relations.
“There are many people who are his own cousins in the Presidency. In my own understanding of history and politics, this is what you call nepotism. And if you are against corruption, you cannot be nepotistic.
“So it is really a contradiction for Buhari to have, for example a nephew of his, the son of his elder sister as the Minister of Water Resources [Hadi Sirika].
“He has another niece of his, the elder sister of [Sirika], who is now a national commissioner in the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission), Amina Zakari.
“They are trying to bury their tracks. But Buhari nominated her even before he became president when Jonathan asked him to nominate somebody to represent the North West (in INEC) and he chose that woman.
“And then this nonentity, Mamman Daura, virtually runs the government. He has a veto power. There have been instances when Buhari gave written approval for things to be done, and that man went and stymied, threw the paper away.
“He has become such a tyrant in the Presidency. He is a nephew to Buhari. His father is the elder brother of Buhari, even though the (age) difference between them is about three years, his father is an elder brother to Buhari and they grew up together.
“[Abba Kyari] was brought up by Mamman Daura. His father left him with Mamman Daura to go to Borno, his original state where he was a village head.
“And for all intents and purposes, he is a son of Mamman Daura. He is now the chief of staff to Buhari. His name is Abba Kyari.
“Then [Kabir Daura] the personal assistant to Buhari himself, is the son of Mamman Daura.
“And the girl [Aisha Abubakar] who was picked out of nowhere from Sokoto. She is not a member of the APC. She has nothing to do with anybody. “She was picked and made a minister by Mamman Daura and Buhari because her mother is Buhari’s sister”