Despite the several highly publicized claims of cloning, the technology seems to be still fictional. However, Nigerian president—Muhammadu Buhari—has landed himself among the false accusations of being cloned.
Only a few people had answers regarding these allegations that are being circulated about the president Muhammadu Buhari, who in response denied the claims over the weekend that he had departed this life and is replaced by a Sudanese imitator.
On Sunday while attending a UN climate conference in Poland Buhari said, “It’s the real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong.”
With that speech, he has finally broken his silence about the prevalent falsehoods that had rooted on social media last year while he was away in London being doctored for an anonymous illness. The rumors started off that the president who is running for February 2019 reelection is swapped with a Sudanese impersonator named Jubril. If the rumors are to be believed the president is cloned as the news was circulated by his 2 million Twitter followers.
An AFP fact-check clinched that there is no solid evidence to back up the word on the street. But the social media posts claim that the most populous country and the largest economy of Africa —Nigeria—is being run by an impostor.
The initiation of the rumor can be traced back to Twitter post in September 2017 wherein a user wrote, “The Man Who Parades himself as ‘Buhari’ Is Not the Real Buhari. Is Jubril From Sudan.”
A video of Nnamdi Kanu— the spearhead of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra— accompanied the text, declaring to the supporters the country’s most favored leader is dead. Each time Kanu has retold the claims without any concrete evidence on his buccaneer station Radio Biafra. He has termed the ostensible mimic “Jubril Al-Sudani.”
As per the AFP, the scheme is sparked by ethnic bias against Buhari, who is a northern cultural Fulani Muslim. Buhari has been accused of turning a blind eye towards attacks on Christian farmers. In the meantime, the assassination of a Nigerian diplomat in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in May triggered the weird geopolitical skepticism adding more to the rumor.
When asked about the impersonator theory in the Sunday appearance, Buhari held responsible his political rivals stating, “A lot of people hoped that I was dead and hoped I died. That embarrassed him a lot because he visited me when I was in London convalescing.”
The president who was voted in 2015, attached a video of his response to the top of his Twitter feed, where he further stated: “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 rumors are not surprising — when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped I was dead.”
He lashed out at the scandalmongers as “irreligious” and “ignorant.”
The president brushed off the rumors of striving hard to prove his existence by saying that he is only thinking about his upcoming birthday on December 17. ‘‘If I am getting harassed by anyone, it is my grandchildren,” he said. “They are getting too many.’’
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!
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 2, 2018