The emergence of Mamman Daura as the octopus in the presidency has been grabbing the headlines. The social media has been agog with these stories especially since the former Second Republic People’s Redemption Party House of Representatives member Dr. Junaid Muhammed fired the first shot heard around the country. In an interview that has been widely publicised, Dr. Junaid Mohammed said, ‘Let me say straight away that whether one calls it a cabal or a mafia or some kind of cult or whatever, there is a group of people who are wielding power within the Presidency under Buhari. Whatever you say it is; it is and a lot worse. First, the most influential person in the Presidency today is one Mamman Daura whom as you know, is a nephew of the President. His father was Buhari’s elder brother. In addition, Mamman Daura was the one who single handedly brought up Abba Kyari, the current Chief of Staff to the President. In fact, Abba Kyari knows Mamman Daura more than he knows his own father. Next, the Personal Assistant to Buhari himself is the son of Mamman Daura, next is what they call SCOP, State Chief of Protocol, and is also a son-in-law to Mamman Daura because he is married to Mamman Daura’s daughter. Next, the Minister they unilaterally chose, against the interest of the party and against the wishes of Sokoto people, happens to be the daughter of the younger sister of Mamman Daura’s wife. Both of them are daughters of Sultan Dasuki, who was sacked by General Abacha. We have the Aide De Camp to Buhari himself, Colonel Abubakar. He is married to the granddaughter of one of Buhari’s elder sisters. Next we have the woman who represents Kaduna in the Federal Executive Council, she is a cousin to Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai. It is well known that el-Rufai is one of the closest governors to Muhammadu Buhari. Next, we have the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory. The Minister of the FCT is the man called Musa Bello, who used to be the Managing Director of the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation, which used to be the biggest holding company that belonged to all the northern states. His only qualification to be FCT minister is the fact that his father has been Buhari’s friend over the years. Now, there is a young man called Sabiu Yusuf, nicknamed Tunde – probably because of late General Tunde Idiagbon. He is another PA to President Buhari. He is also a grandson of another sister of Buhari. This is enough to prove to you that this is shamelessly the worst form of nepotism in the history of government in Nigeria. In fact, in the history of Africa, let me make bold to assert that I have never seen any level of nepotism that has equalled or surpassed this in my entire life – I am now in my 67th year. Another thing I also want you to know is that, Amina Zakari, who was and still a national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission representing the entire seven states in the North-West; it is being claimed that Buhari knows nothing about her appointment (before he became President), it is a lie. When President Goodluck Jonathan was re-organising the INEC and he was bringing in Prof. Attahiru Jega, he reached out to Buhari and asked Buhari to nominate somebody from the North-West so that that person would be a national commissioner. Of all the people in the North-West, Buhari decided to nominate his own niece, the daughter of his elder sister- Amina Zakari. When Jega left, Buhari was determined to make her chairman, it was because of the massive backlash that he dropped the idea like hot potatoes. As we are talking today, that woman is a national commissioner which means she is one of the principal election umpires. Throughout my reading of history, political science and social sciences generally, I have never heard of any dictator or any tyrant under any system of government whether totalitarian or fascist, appointing his own niece to conduct elections in which he was either a party or going to be a party to; Buhari has done that. The immediate younger brother to Amina Zakari is currently the Minister for Water Resources representing Jigawa State in the same Buhari government. In addition, even though they are from Kazaure, Kazaure is contiguous to Daura. The eldest sister of both of them is now the Commissioner for Education in the All Progressives Congress government in Jigawa State. If this is not nepotism, then I don’t know what is nepotism and anybody who has the guts, the brutal arrogance to appoint these relations not bothering about public opinion, about the sense of justice, about competence, then you can see that he has a very serious question to answer. ‘

Dr. Junaid Muhammed was not the first to comment on Mamman Daura’s influence in the presidency, especially in Aso Rock Villa. In 2015, Fakorede Jide, had written extensively about Mamman Daura in the Sahel Standard. According to Fakorede Jide: ‘His name constantly features as a man that has always had the ear of the President. A top figure now openly alleged to be the leader of shadowy “Kaduna Mafia,”

Alhaji Daura is a veteran journalist and an industrialist. He was the editor of the now defunct New Nigerian Newspaper where he served as the holding company’s managing director; when the newspaper used to determine the direction of events and state policies in the North. So he has been  a power broker,  a media practitioner and manager. He would also be chairman of Kaduna Furniture and Carpets Company.

In 1971, Mamman Daura had published an interesting chapter in a little known book ‘Reporting Africa’, published in Uppsala, Sweden. He had argued that as editor of The New Nigerian, his role was defined by a north-south culture divide. He argued that: ‘The North believed in controlled modernization and emphasized the need for the changing traditional society to adopt modern methods without destroying its own qualities. He claimed that the South believed in an unthinking gallop towards everything European and Western. It is this cautious, not to say suspicion, of Western methods, notably education that portended a source of danger to the Northern Region because the North was educationally backward and was thus likely to suffer in the distribution of national jobs. This, it was believed formed the basis for establishing the Kaduna Mafia.

The Kaduna Mafia gained prominence under the General Olusegun Obasanjo military administration through the events that surrounded the February 13 1976 coup that saw the killing of General Murtala Muhammed and Obasanjo’s dependence on the Kaduna Mafia to win the trust of the North and consolidate power. Two members of the Obasanjo military administration were allegedly the Kaduna Mafia’s links within the administration. They were Major General Shehu Yar’Adua, Obasanjo’s second-in-command and Major General Buhari, the Petroleum Minister. Both were introduced to the Kaduna Mafia by the secretive Mamman Daura who was Buhari’s nephew and son of Buhari’s brother, Alhaji Dauda Buhari. Alhaji Dauda Buhari was the influential head of the Kaduna Pilgrim’s Board whose removal by the Balarabe Musa administration was alleged to have earned  Balarabe Musa special ill-treatment from Buhari when he took over government. When on October 18, 1975, General Murtala Muhammed appointed Mamman Daura and Dr Tam David West who was a Commissioner of Education in Rivers State to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), both struck up a friendship that led to Daura introducing David West to Buhari and later his recommendation for the post of Buhari’s Minister of Petroleum.

Former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, in an interview also identified Daura as the head of the Kaduna Mafia: “Kaduna Mafia is a collection of groups of civil servants and intellectuals of Ahmadu Bello University and institutions connected with ABU like Vom, New Nigerian, NNDC, etc. The death of Sardauna created a vacuum in Northern Nigeria. It is they who tried to fill it. They first emerged immediately after the coup while I was in study in England…As a critic in NEPU, we were watching political development particularly in the North where powers are stronger. We noticed that they had formed a group under Mamman Daura. They had a magazine through which we used to follow their development. They were expanding their sphere of influence to the extent that at a time, no northerner could hold an executive position without a note from one of them…As I said, their leader was Mamman Daura; others included Adamu Ciroma, Umaru Dikko, Ango Abudullahi who was serving as their boy; Ibrahim Tahir was like their intellectual leader given his sound western education and the advantage he had of Islamic education…’ Sola Saraki, Shehu Musa Yaradua, Mahmud Tukur and Muhammadu Buhari were also alleged to be members. It was an informal group that could be identified only by those who knew them.

The Buhari regime lasted from December 31st 1983 to August 27, 1985. There are those who have described it as a government essentially run by six men. The first two of these six men were Major General Muhammadu Buhari, the Head of State and Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon, the Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters and Buhari’s deputy. The next four were all allegedly representatives of the Kaduna Mafia – Ambassador Mohammed Lawal Rafindadi, Buhari’s kinsman and the notorious head of the Nigerian Security Organization (NSO), which Buhari converted to his secret police; Mahmud Tukur, the Minister of Industry and Commerce and the man who took over the import licence honey-pot previously controlled by Umaru Dikko; Mamman Daura,  Buhari’s nephew who was allegedly the de facto czar of the oil sector under Buhari (while Professor Tam David West was a figurehead Petroleum Minister) and Major General Mohammed Magoro (later Senator) was the Internal Affairs Minister and a close Buhari associate. It has been alleged that retired General Obasanjo had nominated his cousin, Onaolapo Soleye who was a lecturer at the University of Ibadan as the regime’s Minister of Finance.

In the late 1980s, Daura had succeeded his father-in-law Ibrahim Dasuki as head of the African International Bank and also served as chairman of the board of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). He was briefly a member of the Oputa panel charged with investigating human rights abuses in the country; the Oputa Panel was shunned by Buhari, Daura had also served on the Dina committee decades earlier in 1968 and the Aboyade technical committee in 1977. Both committees dealt with the intractable revenue allocation questions facing the nation.

The electoral victory of President Buhari in the March 2015 election thrust Mamman Daura back into national prominence. A man who had been arguably the most powerful insider, outside political office had eventually guided his brother back into the ultimate office.

Though Daura is two-and-a-half years older than the president. They have been extremely close  since childhood.  Mamman Daura is intensely engaging, extremely intelligent and brilliant.

Mamman Daura is a household name in the sleepy quarters of Kofar Faru in the town of Daura in Katsina State but only few persons know him in person. He is a descendant  of the Bayajidda dynasty of Daura. Mamman Daura left his hometown at an early age, moved to Kaduna for studies and has maintained a presence there to the present date, holding over the years, a rather unofficial and revered position as Muhammadu Buhari’s master strategist. He is also believed to have influenced the choice of Aminu Bello Masari as Buhari’s choice candidate for the Katsina APC  governorship ticket during the 2015 electioneering campaign. Daura’s towering credentials which date back to the first republic would make him a behind the scenes coveted counsel to any Northern leader. Imposing himself on Buhari’s ‘I belong to nobody’ Aso Villa was a major tactical error for the leading Kaduna Mafioso.

Mamman Daura married the daughter of former Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki. His wife is also an elder sister to former National security Adviser,  Colonel Sambo Dasuki who is currently languishing in Kuje Prison. The question must then be asked. How come Sambo Dasuki is languishing in jail in a government run by his in-laws? Indeed, members of his family are working at the highest levels of the Buhari administration. Perhaps Sambo Dasuki drew first blood by being at the very center of the coup in 1984 which truncated Buhari’s dictatorship. Perhaps, long ago Mamman Daura, head of the Kaduna Mafia had made the difficult choice between his uncle who was more like a younger brother and his brother-in-law who was Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s aide-de-camp.

It is suggested in some circles that the unappealing prospect of exile and allegedly, the repeated assurances of Sambo Dasuki’s brother-in-law that Buhari had promised not to lay a hand on him were thr two considerations which kept Sambo Dasuki in Nigeria after President Jonathan called PMB to congratulate him as the winner of the 2015 Presidential election. mamman Daura, it is claimed, had been the link for delivering a few favors to Buhari when Sambo Dasuki was the NSA. These favors include the jeeps to replace those bombed out by Boko Haram and the gift of a sum of eight hundred and fifty million naira allegedly paid to Buhari through an Access Bank account belonging to a nephew. PMB admitted receipt of the SUVs but denied receiving the cash.

Daura’s seeming inability to spring his brother-in-law out of detention raises the implication that when Buhari makes up his mind about certain things even his beloved Kaduna mafia godfather of a nephew can do nothing about it.

Recently, Muhammadu Buhari ordered the withdrawal of all Daura’s official vehicles and the stoppage of the supply of refresh¬ments to his office. Daura has no official position in the administration  but was said to have at some point commandeered a fleet of official vehicles from Aso Rock for his personal use,  also ordering that breakfast and lunch be provided daily for himself and his clan of hangers-on from the Aso Villa kitchen. This over-reach spurred the First Family to properly define roles in the Presidency. The President’s action was probably not unconnected to the increasing outcry against what had been described as the overarching powers and influence of Mamman Daura in the affairs of the Aso Villa, setting up office in one of the guest houses in the Villa, popularly referred to as the Glass House, and parading a large retinue of staffers on the pay¬roll of the Presidency.


Mamman Daura has five children, two male and three female. The Dauras are alleged to be residing at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Mamman Daura is taciturn,  articulate and shrewd. He is renowned to be among the top members of the Izalat sect in Kaduna and constantly attended islamic events at Sultan Muhammad Bello Mosque in Kaduna especially during late Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi’s  month-long  tafsiri

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