Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor/Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
From self- quarantine in London, former managing director of the New Nigerian newspaper, Mallam Mamman Daura, has spoken with his cousin, President Muhammadu Buhari, to say he is well and okay.
Daura was reportedly flown out of the country sick, but a video recording of his telephone chat from London with the President shows a physically well man as he walks round a living room, speaking in Hausa into a mobile phone.
He later sits down, continuing his conversation.
Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, posted on his verified Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad, the video of Daura in a room chatting with Buhari.
A translation of Daura’s end of his telephone conversation in the video attached to the tweet read as follows: “The Governor came the day before I left. He came on condolence visit in respect of Samaila Isa (Funtua). Yes, the day before. Yes, it’s true. Amin.”
Mallam Daura, 79, was reported to have been hurriedly flown abroad on Wednesday to receive medical attention for conditions resembling Covid-19.
Ahmad tweeted: “No iota of truth in the earlier story that Mallam Mamman Daura was flown to London for an emergency medical attention. He is hale and hearty. Nigerians should disregard that story.”
UK mandates new arrivals from certain countries, including Nigeria, to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Real reasons Mamman Daura travelled – Family source
Reliable family sources told The Nation that contrary to speculations about his health, Daura left the country hale and hearty.
“Our father, contrary to all the noise out there, was not rushed out as an emergency. He was not packaged as a health emergency as being insinuated by some fake news peddlers,” a relative said.
It was reliably gathered that Daura actually left the country for the United Kingdom for the purpose of spending time with his children and grandchildren residing there as it has been his practice for many years now.
The family source also said Daura will use the opportunity to “submit himself to routine medical check-ups and also spend a lot of time resting.”
The Nation gathered that but for the Covid-19 pandemic that necessitated the closure of airports globally, he would have embarked on the trip earlier than now.
Daura attended a funeral at Gudu Cemetery in Abuja on Tuesday, the day before he travelled, in company of many prominent Nigerians.
The source said: “Ask those who saw him in Abuja on Tuesday if he looked like somebody critically ill. It is easy for media people to find out the truth if they want to do so. But for some sorry reasons, they prefer to report lies and misinformation as news. As I speak to you, our father is spending good time with his family abroad,” a source said.
“There is no single truth in the reports out there. It is painful for us as his children and relatives to read such news about our old father. How can anybody say he was rushed out as an emergency?
“I can tell you, just like many people who saw him at the airport when he was leaving, that he walked, agile and brisk as ever, with his own legs to the plane.
“He was not carried or stretchered as being reported. Mamman Daura is not sick and he is not dying. Those writing such about him are not being fair to him and his family.
“Our father is an old man. He is not too young. But people should stop wishing him dead for whatever reason. If it is the will of God for him, nobody can hold him down.
“But to say he is critically sick and dying at a time he is in very high spirits eagerly looking forward to spending time with his loved ones abroad, is unimaginable.
“Even before he travelled, he was up and doing, attending public functions here and there. He was also receiving visitors all through the time before he embarked on the trip,” our source added.
Speaking further, our source insisted that Mamman Daura has not flouted any law or regulation locally or internationally by embarking on the trip.
She advised those peddling negative rumour and lies about the Katsina-born elder statesman to always remember that “the Mamman Daura you take delight in running down and abusing as well as wishing sick or dead, is some people’s father and relative.
“In his own way, he has contributed to the development of this country. It is unnecessary to wish him dead. He is an old man enjoying God’s favour.”