By Chuks Ekpeneru
On Tuesday, Malam Mamman Daura, a nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari opined that competence, not geography should determine the next president of Nigeria in 2023.
With his assertion, Nigerians immediately began to dissect the stance of Nigeria’s most powerful unelected political dealer in the coming 2023 election.
The reason why Daura’s assertion is being taken seriously is because of his famed reputation as the head of the famous cabal that is generally believed to dictate the pace and pattern of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
According to him, “This turn-by-turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done thrice… It is better for this country to be one…it should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere,” he told the BBC Hausa Service in an interview.
It is generally believed that his assertion may have been a signal to those already positioning for the 2023 presidential race.
For someone who has wielded much influence in the polity on account of his closeness to President Buhari, his assertion is believed to weigh much and it is expected that what he says would greatly determine how the president behaves in the run-up to the 2023 election.
The declaration coming against the well known push by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to succeed Buhari in 2023 puts a great question as to the political fidelity between the two men.
Tinubu was known to have mobislised resources in every facet to enable Buhari achieve his two electoral feats.
Remarkably, Daura is the lone survival of the troika of the famed cabal in the presidency that also consisted of the late Abba Kyari and Isa Fantua.
It is perceived that with his two henchmen gone that Daura is now trying to reach out to others in the North to help him retain presidential power in the North post-Buhari.
Remarkably, the disputation about zoning is not the only battle that Asiwaju would be facing in his presidential quest.
Though Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State recently said the presidency should return to the South, it is, however, known that that was not a sop to the national leader of the APC.
That is because the Kaduna State governor was also known to have been among those who supported the removal of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.
Oshiomhole was known to be Tinubu’s man.
Some observers, however, say that Daura may have been testing the waters as a way of rallying northerners disposed to power shift to have a rethink on the claim that retaining the power in the North is doable.
Though President Buhari has said no one can break his bond with Tinubu, Nigerians are watching unfolding events as to which tune Buhari will dance to between that played by Daura and Buhari.