For months, rumours had spread on social media of the death of Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari and his subsequent replacement by an imposter from Sudan named Jubril. Many Nigerians fell for the fake news which was widely peddled by opposition politicians as the country prepares for a general election in February next year in which Buhari is contesting.
It was reported to have been started by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Biafran separatist organisation, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who had said in a video that Buhari died in 2017 and replaced by Jubril who went through plastic surgery to be a Buhari lookalike. He alleged that Buhari was buried in Saudi Arabia.
Those who through sheer ignorance refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming body of evidence confirming that Jubril is not Buhari, only need a good eyesight to see the fraud in Aso Rock. Every human grows older with age not younger. pic.twitter.com/li959AYcv1
— Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (@MaziNnamdiKanu) November 27, 2018
The Jubril theories kept making the rounds on social media platforms and on Youtube with videos and pictures making comparisons between the president and his speculated clone.
Buhari’s ears, hands, height and face were compared and contrasted by many Nigerians fuelling the theories and drawing others into the conversation without any evidence.
Buhari’s left ear has a cut.
— Nwokeji Nwagbalaoso (@BiafraGadi) November 30, 2018
Jubril is an impostor in Aso Rock, the evidence is glaring and we are happy that the mainstream medias have captured it. What we have in Aso Rock is fake Buhari, Britain is aware, Atiku and some other top politicians in Nigeria were aware too. pic.twitter.com/klp7XM4sOg
— Emeka Gift (@EmekaGift) December 3, 2018
Some of the Jubril theorists have demanded a DNA test to prove or disprove their claim which has been widely believed by many Nigerians.
The evidences are overwhelming, that made me to start thinking otherwise, that the man is an imposter (Jubril) and millions of people believe the same too, until #DNATest is conducted to prove us wrong.
That’s how it should be done.@Reuters https://t.co/wbsk9zqpJG
— Nkiruka Nistoran (@NkirukaNistoran) December 3, 2018
Mallam Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani From Sudan Became Much Sought Specimen On The Demise Of President Muhammadu Buhari Of Nigeria On 27Th January, 2017.
Aso Rock Cabal At Abuja Led By Abba Kyari Contacted Habibu Alum, A Nigerian Diplomat In Khartoum To Bring Specimen To Clone Buhari pic.twitter.com/ywvzCAMzUK
— Abuchi (@sam_ezeh) November 29, 2018
Nigeria ?? On The Verge Of Disintegration! Mixed Reactions Follow “President” Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani, An Impostor-turned buhari:
” I know buhari is dead and buried, Kanu is right, he should hold a presidential media chat if he’s alive”
– T.Y Danjuma insists.. pic.twitter.com/xH68xT2Hzy
— Abuchi 2 (@abuchi_2) November 26, 2018
The president addressed the speculations in a town hall session with Nigerians in Poland where he described the rumours as “ignorant and irreligious” when he was asked about Jubril.
“It’s real me, I assure you … I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong … A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health,” he said.
President @MBuhari’s response to the rumors of him being cloned.
“…Somebody just thought I am cloned, …it is real me I sure you.” pic.twitter.com/PGSWozK6kh
— APC Nigeria (@APCNigeria) December 2, 2018
Buhari has spent about 5 months in Britain last year for treatment for an undisclosed illness which raised several suspicions and sparked demonstrations for him to give up power. He returned from the long medical leave to lead the government which was being managed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was the acting president in Buhari’s absence.
This is the first time a rumour of an African president being cloned has surfaced.