President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew and close associate, Mamman Daura, has said the contributions of the late chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari and the late media and business mogul, Ismaila Isa Funtua, to the Buhari administration in the first and second tenures were immeasurable.
The revered technocrat and industrialist described the passing of Kyari who died on April 17 of COVID -19 complications and Funtua who died of cardiac arrest on July 20 as disturbing to him.
In an interview on the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation aired yesterday, Daura recalled that Kyari and Funtua were his close associates of over 40 years.
Noting that Kyari and Funtua’s services to the administration of President Buhari were immeasurable, the renowned journalist and former chairman of NTA said he worked with the late Kyari when he was editor and managing director of the New Nigerian Newspaper, Kaduna.
He stated: “Truly, it (death of two intimate friends) was very disturbing. These two great personalities, aside from being my friends were my close associates.
“What they did for the government since they came in – Malam Ismaila Isa by the side while Abba Kyari in the centre, how they worked for this government was beyond our thought. May Almighty Allah have mercy on them.
“They were close associates, not blood relations. Close associates due to our long term relationship.”
Daura further stated that he and the late Funtua established the Funtua Textile Mills which has outlived other textile companies across the length and breadth of the country.
He continued: “After leaving New Nigerian, and retired as a Managing Director, I became the Director of United Nigeria Textile Limited, UNTL.
“It’s 40 years now. He was the Personnel Manager there. That was when we worked together and became intimate.
“Together, we established Funtua Textiles, close to Mairua Dam. All textile mills that were established at that time have all closed down. The ones in Lagos, Kaduna and Kano, at one point or the other, have stopped production but Funtua Textiles has been in operation in the last 40 years”.
Daura’s Views On Rotational Presidency Personal – Presidency
Meanwhile, the presidency has said the views expressed by President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, on rotational presidency were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the president or his administration.
It said the clarification became necessary following numerous requests it received asking the president to comment on the interview granted by Daura to the BBC Hausa Service.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement issued yesterday said at age 80 and having served as editor and managing director of one of the 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.
Noting that Daura does not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise his rights, Shehu said, “In an attempt to circulate the content of the interview to a wider audience, the English translation 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.
“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”.
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