History of Journalism in the North will remain incomplete without the mention of Malam Mamman Daura. As Editor of the New Nigerian, the then most influential newspaper in Nigeria, Malam Mamman Daura wrote one of the best articles and editorial that captured the country’s attention throughout history.
Growing up, Malam Mamman Daura was a stickler for excellence and after his basic education in Katsina, he was identified among his peers and found worthy to be sent to UK for higher education by the then Northern Regional Government.
He went ahead to study English Language, English Literature, Latin and British Constitution at Advanced Level at Bournemouth College. He was then admitted to the elitist Trinity College, Dublin (The Irish equivalent of Oxbridge) and received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics and a combined Masters degree in Public and Business Administration. He returned home and joined the mainstream civil service.
“Before going to England,I worked as a programme Assistant in the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, in Kaduna. My schedule was: News Reader and Producer of Talks.” Malam Mamman Daura recalled in his personal reminiscences on Nigeria @50, which was published by DailyTrust in 2010.
As a businessman, Malam Mamman Daura was extremely successful. He was a key driver of the northern Nigerian industrial revolution of the late 1970s and 1980s; with local and international partners and investors – setting up and managing the following industries: Kaduna Aluminium Ltd, Kaduna Machine Works, Boots Nigeria Ltd, United Nigeria Textiles Ltd (UNTL), Funtua Textiles (FTL), Arewa Textiles, Nortex and Finetex.
Also, the Kaduna Furniture and Carpets Company (KFCC), which was at one time the largest furniture manufacturing company in West Africa. The KFCC furnished Transcorp Hilton at inception and several of other big companies and banks in the country.
The man Malam Mamman Daura has been a critical pillar of transparency and integrity. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was honored several times by the Kaduna State Government for constitency in remitting the rightful amount of corporate taxes as well as personal income taxes.
The chairman of LEADERSHIP Group Limited, Sam Nda Isaiah describes Malam Mamman Daura as a man who takes personal integrity very seriously. “While he was a businessman, his uncle, friend and close confidant Col. Muhammadu Buhari was the Federal Commissioner of Petroleum at the time.
“Malam Mamman Daura refused to have anything to do with the oil industry. And, in fact, of all his board appointments at the time (and he sat on several dozens of blue chip and multinational boards), he never sat on the board of any oil company.
“Even when GMB became the PTF chairman, none of his companies participated in any contracts. Not that it could have been wrong for him to have served in any of the boards of the oil companies or have delved into the business himself, or even his companies participating in the PTF, but he was just who he was. And that is the level of discipline and integrity of the man i have come to know very closely.”
That Malam Mamman Daura lives an exemplary family life is by all accounts evidenced in his relationship with his children, wife and his uncle, President Muhammadu Buhari, among others.
In her tribute to her father, Fatima describes him as a man who has touched many lives in his unassuming way. She also describes Malam Mamman Daura as someone who taught them contentment and patience.
“Patience in adversity, patience in moments of lack and patience with the vicissitudes of life.” She said.
The man Malam Mamman Daura is a technocrat, an intellectual and a journalist without parallel. He trained many, inspired many. He rose to be the Managing Director of the New Nigerian, and was nominated by the federal government to be a member of the constitution drafting committee under the chairmanship of Chief Rotimi Williams.
The Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu recalled in retrospect: “Malam Mamman Daura’s home in Kaduna was where we gathered during the evenings, whenever i was back home for weekends. That offered me a peak into several sides to his person… He would not fail to ask about your family, work and then show a genuine concern about the state of the country.”
As Malam Mamman Daura clocked 80 on Saturday, president Buhari said his “footprint on the development of the country, and quintessential attention to family values, will always be remembered and appreciated.”
Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also celebrated the veteran journalist and entrepreneur.
He said: “A man of great character, you have been a resourceful pillar of support for our president, Muhammadu Buhari. Many have rightfully described you as imbued with immense talents, your character, however, remains an inspiration to me in particular.
“Our country is lucky to have you at this particular time. I’m highly honoured and privileged to know you because knowing you is a wonderful thing.
Indeed, Malam Mamman Daura, is a true son of Nigeria and an inspiration of millions of youth. Sadly, most youth “hardly ever know the real man beyond the persona that they themselves have constructed in the social space,” Modibbo Kawu noted.
“We are fortunate that elders like Malam Mamman Daura are still very much with us, whose experiences, sense of loyalty and easy manners, remain veritable fountains of knowledge. We can paraphrase the words of Professor Hampate Ba, that old people like Malam Mamman Daura, remain living libraries.”