Staunch Government Critic Junaid Mohammed Dies @ 71

A 2nd Republic lawmaker and popular government critic, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has died at the age of 71, The PUNCH has learnt.

Junaid, who was the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the last election, was said to have died in his home state of Kano on Thursday.

A brother of the deceased, Ahmed Salik, confirmed the death to DAILY NIGERIAN on Thursday night, saying the funeral would hold on Friday morning.

Junaid who studied medicine in the defunct United Socialist Soviet Republics, in the 1970s, served in the House of Representatives during the 2nd Republic until the National Assembly was dissolved by the Muhammadu Buhari-led military junta in 1983.

Junaid later became a government critic and was highly critical of the administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.

In 2015, he began to take on the administration of the current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Junaid had in 2016 accused Buhari of running a government that is based purely on nepotism rather than merit.

The deceased was the one who first stated publicly that the President’s nephew,  Mamman Daura, had become the most influential man in Nigeria.

He had said, “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.

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“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. She has been there; 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. There are two mysterious cases.”

The former lawmaker in one of his last interviews with The PUNCH in January, said 99 per cent of Buhari’s appointments were not based on merit.

He was responding to a comment by the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, who had accused Buhari of favouring the North in appointments and stated that there would have been a coup if a southern President had done what Buhari is doing.

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