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How Mamman Daura became most powerful man in Nigeria

There had been reports that there is the
man who is standing behind all the
decisions of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In fact, he is said to be so powerful and
influential that he holds a position no one
has and can ever hold in the life of the
His name is Mamman Daura and he is said
to be two and half years older than the
Nigerian leader.
The nephew-uncle relations are described
as extremely close and date back to
childhood years.
Some people consider that even Daura is so
powerful that he almost rules Nigeria and is
standing behind all decisions of the
Nigerian president.

Meanwhile, what has often not been
reported is how Daura came to earn so
much influence on the president.
Daura is the son of Buhari’s elder brother,
but since he is three years older, the
Nigerian leader is “awkwardly” his uncle.
John Paden, an American professor, in the
book “Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges
of Leadership in Nigeria” gives a historical
insight into the important role Daura played
in the formative years of the incumbent
Nigerian leader.
According to the US professor, Daura, along
with Waziri al-Hassan (Buhari’s foster
father) encouraged Buhari “to settle down
and take his studies seriously”.
Buhari’s nephew also “strongly
encouraged” young man to join the army in
Paden said that he would become a “life-
long inspiration and confidant to Buhari”
who guided him all through his formative
Daura had known Buhari for 73 years.
The book reads in part: “After the death of
his mother in December 1988, Buhari was
released and traveled to Daura for the
mourning. When he arrived in Daura, he
found his farm much as he had left it. His
senior brother (the father of Mamman
Daura), along with the Barden Daura, had
managed the cattle, sheep, and horses in
his absence”.
“When Buhari’s father died, Waziri al-Hasan
– the son of Emir Musa became the
guardian of Zulaihat (Buhari’s mother) and
her six children, including her youngest,
Muhammadu. This played a major role in
the upbringing of Buhari.
“This extensive kinship network also
affected the future of Buhari in another
important way. His senior brother was the
father of Mamman Daura, who was three
years older than Buhari, although
technically his nephew. Mamman would
become a life-long inspiration and
confidant to Buhari. He was especially
critical in encouraging Buhari to pursue
lifelong education.
“Like many boys at that time and place,
Buhari went to Quranic school before going
to primary school. He was not enthusiastic
about these studies. Early each morning, he
would get up and have to fetch firewood
for his teacher for the evening Qur’anic
readings. There were also several hours of
Qur’anic lessons in the morning, at a time
when Buhari would rather be outside

“In part because of his love of the outdoors,
Buhari was a reluctant student in his early
years. He would often skip school
altogether, although this always resulted in
beatings with a cane by the schoolmaster.
Only with the encouragement of Waziri al-
Hasan and Mamman Daura did he eventually
settle down and take his studies seriously.”
Professor Paden further wrote: “Meanwhile,
the Emir of Katsina, whose emirate adjoined
Daura Emirate, was encouraging bright
young men to go into the military and train
to become officers. His own son, Hassan
Katsina, had become a military officer.
“When Buhari was considering his options
in 1960, Hassan Katsina would often take
the secondary school boys out for night
hikes and to sleep under the stars. Buhari
enjoyed the great sense of adventure of
these nighttime ventures into nature.
“In addition to considering the military
because of the example set by Hassan
Katsina, Buhari recognized that officer
training provided a pathway to further
education. Yet another impetus was
provided by Mamman Daura, who strongly
encouraged his “younger uncle” to
consider officer training and higher

“Buhari, who was now nineteen years old,
had to take several exams even to be
considered for officer training. He was able
to pass English, mathematics, and general
knowledge, plus he met the physical
requirements. Still, the competition was
nationwide, and only about seventy boys
would be selected for officer candidate
school. Of these, only half would be
“The competition was thus stiff, but Buhari
was among those selected. One of the key
qualities needed in the military was
“leadership.” Buhari would prove himself
time and again to possess that rare gift.”


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