Fatima, daughter of Mamman Daura, has refuted social media claims that her father is arranging a second marriage for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Daura, who is Buhari’s older nephew, is often described as the head of the so-called cabal that takes most decisions under the current administration.
The cabal is said to have asked the president to marry Sadiya Umar Farouq, the minister of humanitarian affairs, to spite Aisha, his wife of 30 years, over constant criticism of the clique.
The rumour was so strong last week with the purveyors picking Friday, October 4, for the wedding ceremony that never was.
In an interview with BBC Hausa Service, Fatima said her father and Buhari are monogamists.
“Wallahi, it is a lie. It is all part of what I am saying about the false allegations against our father. He is not even aware of the rumours about the marriage issue because he doesn’t use the social media. They are both monogamous. Both my dad and the president practice monogamy. They are all lies aimed at blackmailing him. They keep falsely accusing him. It does not tally with reason,” she said.
Buhari’s wife has taken pot shots at the cabal in the past, saying those who did not campaign for her husband during the 2015 elections were the ones calling the shots in his government.
Fatima specifically denied the insinuation that her father was teleguiding the president, describing him as a shy person who only minds his business.
Asked if her father was indeed controlling the president, she replied: “I think the question should be directed to her (Aisha). If one would be objective, one would understand that they (Buhari and Daura) grew up together, shared the same friends and did a lot of things together, so if any one is appointed that is close to our dad, that person is also close to the president. They have been together and they do things together. Everyone has his own confidant that he listens to. I think that is the reason for the allegations. They are very close friends. They are also related by blood so there is no way you can separate them.”
She swore that her father is not the one controlling the president. “Wallahi, it is not like that. You guys are journalists, you can investigate and see how our father is. He is a shy fellow, doesn’t talk a lot and hardly cares about other people’s businesses. Even we as his children, he doesn’t impose things on us,” she told the BBC.
“You know the president can seek his advice but he is not the kind of fellow that will impose or insist on something. He can simply advise and stay away at home minding his business. He hardly speaks, he is 80 years old. When you talk to him about the allegations, he says you should not bother yourselves, that God is clearing his sins by such false accusations. If you are reasonable, you will see that the powers being allotted to our father by his accusers are wrong. It is only God that has such powers. It doesn’t make sense.”
She said she feels sad that her father is being blamed for the goings-on in government.
“Definitely, it is sad to hear your father being wrongly accused. But for the fact that our father is solely dependent on God and we are also like that, it doesn’t bother us much. We see it as the price we have to pay for being loyal to the president, for being there for him and for supporting him. One day, the truth will come out,” she said.