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I Am Real And Not A Clone, Nigeria’s President Has Genuinely Said

“It’s the real me,” said Muhammadu Buhari.

Posted on December 3, 2018, at 8:39 a.m. ET

Darren Ornitz / Reuters

Nigeria’s president has had to take the unusual step of denying that he has died and been replaced by a clone.

Muhammadu Buhari, who has disappeared for months at a stretch before, reassured supporters at a town hall event in Poland, where he was attending the UN Climate Change conference on Sunday, “It’s the real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong.”

One of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was on the issue of whether I‘ve been cloned or not. The ignorant rumours are not surprising — when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped I was dead. https://t.co/SHTngq6LJU

I can assure you all that this is the real me. Later this month I will celebrate my 76th birthday. And I’m still going strong!

His office also circulated an email, titled: “It’s Real Me, President Buhari Responds to Cloning Allegation,” ahead of the speech.

Buhari was addressing online rumors, which started in 2017, that he had been replaced by a Sudanese man called Jubril.

In January of that year he traveled to London to have a persistent ear infection treated, according to officials. But then he disappeared for months. He finally reappeared in March, when photos of him in the Nigerian capital were shared by his official Twitter account.

But his long and unexplained absences (which have come to characterize his presidency since 2015) have only fueled rumors that something is amiss. Rumors that he’s been replaced, or cloned, have been eagerly picked up by people who oppose Buhari and his government.

Muhammadu Buhari met US President Donald Trump in the White House in April this year.
Carlos Barria / Reuters

Muhammadu Buhari met US President Donald Trump in the White House in April this year.

The rumors have been amplified by a Twitter account apparently run by opposition leader Nnamdi Kanu.

Kanu claims that Buhari died months ago and has been replaced by a man from Sudan known as Jubril, or Jubril al-Sudani.

One of the earliest examples is this video, which tags Kanu and first suggests the name Jubril. A version of it has been shared thousands of times across Twitter and Facebook.

The Man Who Parades Himself as " Buhari" Is Not The Real Buhari. Is Jubril From Sudan . #Nnamdi #KANU

And Kanu has tweeted extensively about the apparent clone of the Nigerian leader.

My key allegation against the presidency over Jubril has not been refuted till date. If Buhari-Jubril attended the event at Arc de’Triomphe in Paris, release a common video to prove me wrong. They can’t because Buhari is dead & never went to Paris. #UnmaskJubril https://t.co/wwFWF90v84

Another piece of “evidence” that the opposition leader has shared are images of Buhari writing with both his right and left hand. (The image on the left has been flipped, as AFP first reported. Buhari is naturally right-handed.)

Here we have a supposed old man between 76-85 yrs that suddenly switched his writing hand from left to right. Could the @AsoRock handlers of Jubril clarify this mix-up? We are patiently waiting for answers and I believe millions of people deserve an explanation. @NGRPresident https://t.co/y0o63ApY5I

Sometimes Buhari has been pictured with or without his glasses, and some pictures have shown him looking younger than his 75 years. There’s also been a lot of attention on Buhari’s ears.

Is it my eyes or does the person without glasses look a bit different from the other pictures? It may be that old age is affecting my sight. https://t.co/P9BZfUjVsz

There are suggestions that Buhari’s weight has fluctuated with his medical condition.

However, by Dec. 3, Kanu’s account clarified earlier remarks and said he had always maintained that Buhari had been “replaced” rather than cloned.

I said Jubril is an impostor, not a clone. Fulani cabal should stop their dirty diversionary tactics. You need not be an Einstein or a native doctor to know the man in Poland is not Buhari. All you need is common sense, ability to reason and a functioning eyesight. https://t.co/4Zgznt3CHH

It hasn’t really stopped the online rumors, with a hashtag #UnmaskJubril still going strong. And some of the rumors are wild.

One video, featuring Nicolas Cage from the 1997 film Face/Off (where two characters swap faces), even speculates how the transformation was made.

Another — pushed by former government minister and adviser Femi Fani-Kayode — claims that not only is Buhari dead, but he was then raised in a satanic ritual as “Jubril of Sudan.”

Buhari, clone or otherwise, will seek reelection in presidential elections next February.


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