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Abba Kyari’s replacement: Mamman Daura, Aisha may lose out

…as Buhari roots for compromise candidate.

By Madu Onuorah

The two most powerful political blocs in Nigeria’s Presidency may lose out on the race to have its candidate chosen as replacement for President Muhammadu Buhari’s late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.

Malam Kyari died of complications arising from Coronavirus (COVID-19) last Friday and was buried on Saturday in Abuja.

At the head of the two blocs in The Presidency are the President’s nephew, Alhaji Mamman Daura and First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari.

Global Upfront Newspapers (GUN) gathered that the two groups have been backing different candidates for the exalted position.

The Daura group, which includes mostly members of the ‘cabal’ coordinated by the late Chief of Staff roots for the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe. The First Lady and her group are rooting for former Lagos State Military Administrator and Nigeria’s former Ambassador to South Africa, Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) or the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai who just recovered from the COVID-19 ailment.

But a dependable source in The Presidency told the GUN that President Buhari is also looking for a compromise candidate who would not only bridge the division in the seat of power but would go further to run an effective and amenable administration.

According to a source, “the President is worried about the endless political and personal acrimony among members of his family and does not want a continuation of the fight with a new Chief of Staff. The interesting thing is that every member of the two groups, all of them, wants the President to succeed. But the two groups have different modus operandi.”

The GUN learnt that the President is lining up some non-allied names including the current Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, the outgoing Permanent Secretary, State House and longtime ally of the late Chief of Staff, Malam Jalal Arabi, Minister of Communications Dr Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Ambassador to China, Alhaji Baba Ahmad Jidda and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The source also said that good candidates from Adamawa State including General Marwa, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ahaji Mohammed Bello and former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu who are looking forward to the plum job are seriously handicapped in the race as the  Secretary to the Government SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, is from the same State and the two topmost positions in the government cannot go to the State that even lost to the opposition in the 2019 general election, both in the Presidential and gubernatorial elections.

The GUN reports that two strange names are also being pandered about. The two are serving Ministers – the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola.

But it’s not clear which political interests that are pushing their names as they are generally seen as very long shots considering that the candidate that would emerge as the Chief of Staff must come from a particular region of the country and be of a particular religious group.

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