Nigeria: It's Ignorant, Irreligious to Say I'm Cloned - Buhari

3 December 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari addresses some Nigerians in the Diaspora, in Poland yesterday

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday reacted to rumours making the rounds that he has been cloned saying "it's real me".

Daily Trust reports that there have been allegations that one "Jibril from Sudan" is the one ruling Nigeria now, instead of Buhari who is said to have died.

President Buhari broke his silence on the issue in Krakow, Poland where is attending the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"It's real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong," Buhari, said at an interactive session with the Nigerian Community in the country.

Responding to a question from a Nigerian in the Diaspora who wanted to know if he was real or the much talked about "Jibril from Sudan", Buhari described the authors of the rumour about him as "ignorant and irreligious."

"A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health. Some even reached out to the Vice President [Yemi Osinbajo] to consider them to be his deputy because they assumed I was dead. That embarrassed him a lot and of course, he visited me when I was in London convalescing... It's real me; I assure you," he was quoted in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

The President said he was looking forward to celebrating his 76th birthday on December 17 and jocularly added: "If I am getting harassed by anyone, it is my grandchildren, who are getting too many."

He used the occasion to reiterate that his government will continue to maintain focus and deliver on the three focal points of his campaign in 2015: security, economy and the fight against corruption.

"Those in the North East will tell you that in spite of the recent setbacks, there is a difference between the time we came and before.

"We are not doing badly on security, economy and agriculture. We have virtually stopped the importation of food especially rice and we are saving a lot of money.

"We now have food security and that has come with fiscal security because a lot of young educated people have not regretted going back to the farms and earning a respectable living.

"I am afraid, this is not receiving good publicity... but a lot of people in the rural areas are enjoying the benefits of our interventions in agriculture," he said.

Reaffirming that no territory of Nigeria is under the control of Boko Haram terrorists, he called on Nigerians to remain vigilant and supportive of Federal Government's efforts to ensure the security of lives and property in the country.

He said that it has not been easy financing the security sector in the country, but that the Nigerian Armed Forces were equal to the task.

The president noted that it was regrettable that herdsmen and farmers clashes in the country have been politicised, hoping that the Nigerian government will continue to prioritise security because that is what many investors consider first before investing in the country.

On the fight against corruption, he said all recovered stolen assets will be sold and the proceeds returned to the treasury for the benefit of Nigerians.

On women representation in his government, the President told the meeting: "I have plans for all Nigerians. I am not a male chauvinist. If I'm a chauvinist will I give the Finance Ministry to women?"

In his remarks, the Ambassador of Nigeria to Poland, Mr Eric Adagogo Bell-Gam, praised Nigerians living in the country for being worthy ambassadors of the country.

Among those who met President Buhari were Mr Larry Ugwu, an Artist and Curator, who has lived in Poland for 40 years and has contributed immensely to promoting Nigerian cultural heritage in the Polish society; Anthony Egwuatu, a Gynaecologist, who has lived in the country for 30 years and Mr Olomofe Larry, a human rights activist, who has fought for justice for fellow Nigerians in the host country.

The event was put together and anchored by Abike Dabiri, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Diaspora.

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