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It is not really surprising that a personal opinion on an issue that has been buffeting the nation made by a private citizen has been generating a feral reaction along ethnic, religious and ideological proclivities. The statement was made by an individual reputed to be the most powerful person or influence around Nigeria’s seat of power.

Recall that a nefew of President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Mamman Daura, granted an interview to the BBC Hausa Service last week where he made his position known on the vexed issue of rotational presidency in Nigeria. According to Daura, and in a direct reference to the 2023 presidential race, the president of the country should be determined primarily by competence and not ethnic politics regional origin.

In his words as translated in English, Daura said “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”.

Ordinarily, nothing is wrong with the above statement. But as a result of his famed enormous influence on the president, which many believe contributes largely to the success and failures of this government, many Nigerians swore that it was a kite being flown by the Buhari administration, a reflection of the mindset, thoughts and plan of the North and the present government ahead of the 2023 presidency.

Although the presidency has debunked the increasing suspicious public suggestion that Daura’s position was the position of the government of President Buhari. According to a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, “We have received numerous requests for comments on the interview granted by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service. It is important that we state from the onset that as mentioned by the interviewee, the views expressed were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the President or his administration”.

Well said but for good measure, not many Nigerians believe the presidency with a pinch of salt. We maintain that the problem is not just about the personal opinion of Daura. After all, in civilised worlds, the issue of ethnicity or geopolitics as a centrifugal force in determining how a people should be governed has been left behind in support of Daura’s “competence” argument.

The real problem is that, the Nigerian government and governance structure is built around the big but intricate issues of majority and minority rights, ethnicity, religion, geopolitical and economic sense of belonging and entitlement rights. Same with all African countries ditto developing countries. As presently structured, the Nigerian system cannot guarantee fairness and equity to no one.

Theoretically, the constitution is very clear on the ideals upon which the Nigerian government and government structure are built and run. It is also unambiguous on the conduct of our elections, qualifications for any one who wants to become Nigeria’s president, etc, but so far, in practice, no segment of the country seems to be satisfied or fulfilled. This is hinged on abuse of power, desecration of national interest in favour of clannish, ethnic, religious and regional benefits.

Worse still is the insurmountable fact that our party politics which should serve as the vehicle to address these lapses, has grossly failed to meet the least democratic tenets or principles and yearnings of the people.

Our stance is that unless the country is restructured, Nigeria will continue to move round in vicious, tortuous and absurd Sisyphic circles and people such as South-east, as well as the minority groups in this country will never produce any president thereby widening disunity and conflicts leading to a possible disintegration.

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