The publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, has made some revelations about President Muhammadu Buhari, his nephew, Mamman Daura. among others.
In his latest article, Nda-Isaiah, stated that Daura anointed former minister of defense, TY Danjuma, to be President Goodluck Jonathan’s deputy, following uncertainties over the health of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
He also said Daura only nominated one junior minister for Buhari in 2015 and that the minister was not re-appointed by the president in 2019.
The publisher also disclosed that Namadi Sambo had lobbied for his predecessor, Ahmed Makarfi, to be appointed vice president but Jonathan instead chose him, following recommendation of Danjuma.
Sam Nda-Isaiah further revealed that Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was personally chosen by the president not Daura as widely speculated.
He said Danjuma interviewed and recommended former governors of Niger, Kaduna and Katsina, Babangida Aliyu, Namadi Sambo and Ibrahim Shema respectively.
The publisher recalled that Jonathan, however, dropped the Aliyu because the then Senate President David Mark was also from the North Central.
Sam Nda-Isaiah wrote: “When President Umaru Yar’Adua got terminally ill and it became apparent that the worst might happen, and fearing that the North was in disarray, and to avoid making the mistake of choosing a vice president without capacity when the inevitable finally happened, Abba Kyari and I decided to meet General TY Danjuma to convince him to chair a meeting of a select group of serious senior northerners to shortlist names of a possible vice president.
“M. Abba went to Kaduna to inform GMB, M. Mamman, Dr Tukur, M. Ahmed Joda and a few others. While in Kaduna, he informed M. Mamman first about the proposed meeting. Almost without thinking, M. Mamman said there was no need for such a meeting. The best thing that could happen to the North was for Gen. Danjuma himself to agree to be vice president. Dr. Tukur also said exactly the same thing. Except that he added that the only problem was that TY would say “rainin ya yi yawa!” — roughly translated, it means that TY would say the insult was too much to ask him to be vice president to Jonathan.
“GMB was to visit M. Mamman in the evening of that day, so M. Abba decided to wait for him to give him the message. When he came in, without knowing what M. Mamman and Dr. Tukur had said, he simply said that the only person he trusted to be vice president at that time was TY himself. M. Abba laughed and called me. He said something funny was happening and that he would give me details when he arrived in Abuja. M. Ahmed Joda also said the same thing.
“M. Ahmed Joda, another great mind who had operated at the highest levels with perpendicularity virtually all his life – in the civil service, in journalism and in the private sector — took it upon himself to make arrangements for the meeting in his house. But this time with TY as the proposed vice president. I didn’t hear anyone raise the issue that what we were discussing was in fact a Christian-Christian presidency. I was intrigued by what I was seeing and hopeful that there was nothing wrong with Nigeria that could not be solved with what was right with Nigeria.
“I was in fact the only one in that meeting that drew the attention of the house to the fact that what we were discussing was a Christian-Christian presidency which could pose a problem in a complex polity like Nigeria. I was told clearly that it didn’t matter and that “we all know TY very well”. At this point I knew that these people whom some people had fondly called “Kaduna mafia” had in fact earned their stripes. They represent what is good and what is right with Nigeria.
“The story eventually leaked in ThisDay. TY himself showed me the story and quickly said he was sick himself. I laughed and told him people who were discussing this didn’t think he was that sick. That discussion continued until our greatest fear crystallized, at which time the now President Jonathan himself invited TY to help him choose a vice president from among the serving governors.
“After interviewing a few of the governors, he gave Jonathan three names: Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Namadi Sambo of Kaduna State and Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State in that order. Babangida Aliyu was disqualified on grounds of zoning, as Senate president David Mark and himself were from the north-central zone. That was how Namadi Sambo, who was at that time mobilizing support for his predecessor Ahmed Makarfi to get the job, received a call from TY to see him. The rest, as they say, is now history.
“Now some home truths. Let me knock out the bottom out of some “received” opinions or rumours. First, M. Mamman does not control the president. That is not his style. Even if that were his style, it would be silly for anyone to assume that the president could be controlled. And, in fact, anyone who thinks PMB could be controlled does not know the first thing about him. One of the adjectives freely used to describe PMB for decades is “stubborn”. If M. Mamman had that kind of hold on the president, Sambo Dasuki would not be in detention today. Sambo Dasuki is M. Mamman’s brother-in-law and they are close.
“Another thing: M. Mamman did not appoint or recommend Abba Kyari to the president for chief of staff in 2015. The president called M. Abba and told him, and he in turn informed M. Mamman just about the same time the appointment was announced. I know this because I should know. In the entire first-term cabinet of PMB, M. Mamman had a hand in the appointment of only one junior minister, who is in fact no longer a minister in the current cabinet.
“Yes, the president and M. Mamman are close — in fact very, very close — and they have been so since they were children growing up together. They are a family but most importantly they are friends and confidants. The president is three years younger than him — he, the president, is the uncle; the older one is the nephew. And because of that, the president enjoys bullying him as his uncle, probably to leave no one in doubt as to who is the uncle. They have a complicated relationship and they are inseparable. Somehow, the president has come to depend on M. Mamman’s vast brain power over time.”