There are a handful of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora who believe that their country is being governed by a clone called Jubril, who hails from…wait for it… Sudan.
They say this clone is a spitting image of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari who they submit is long dead.
The ‘Jubril from Sudan’ yarn or conspiracy theory was first spun by anarchist and separatist Nnamdi Kanu, during one of the president’s prolonged medical vacations in the UK.
The urban legend that is ‘Jubril from Sudan’ has since assumed a life of its own and it’s not uncommon to hear Kanu’s conspiracy theory told and retold in not-so-hushed tones, even by members of the intelligentsia, at pubs, in markets, in offices, at social gatherings and in parks.
“Idiocy, sadly believed by even some intellectuals,” Femi Adesina who is the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, writes in his fawning tribute to President Buhari who clocks 78 today, December 17, 2020.
Adesina’s tribute to Buhari which is titled: Buhari At 78: If only we knew this President, is replete with anecdotes from Aso Rock, the nation’s number one address.
Adesina writes that the fact that Buhari is still able to recall events, is sufficient proof that he is no replica or Jubril from Sudan.
A section of the local press have also shared that the president is demented and hardly remembers a thing.
“One day, the president had given me an appointment to announce in the early days of the administration. By then, some people had started talking of northernisation agenda. So I said, “Mr. President, this is the murmur we hear. Why don’t you consider giving this position to another part of the country?”
“He looked at me calmly, smiled, and said: “If a search has been conducted for a position, and someone has been thrown up as the best candidate. And I then bypass him because of where he comes from, or because of his religion, haven’t I been unfair to that person?”
“Food for thought, indeed.
“This is Jubril from Sudan and not Muhammadu Buhari, who had died during the medical vacation in 2017, some people say. You have a clone in Aso Villa, not Buhari. Idiocy, sadly believed by even some intellectuals.
“Let me tell you a story. On the day the president finally returned to the country in August 2017, after months of absence, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, was giving out his daughter in marriage.
“I had attended the church service, decked unusually in complete Agbada, with cap to match. From the wedding, I went straight to the airport to join the reception party.
“We formed a welcome line, as we usually do. And as the president shook each person, he had one wisecrack or the other to say. When he got to me, he took my hand and said: “Adesina, this is the best I’ve seen you dressed.” We both laughed heartily, and the television cameras captured it. I remember that many people asked me later what had tickled me and the president, that we laughed so uproariously.
“Jubril from Sudan? Would he know my name as Adesina? Would he know I rarely wear Agbada? How ridiculous can some people be?
“Another story. The journalist Lindsay Barret had been a long time friend of the president. One day, he sent me to give his greetings. When I did, the president said: “Lindsay Barret. I remember meeting him at the war front in 1968. He was covering the war. There was a day he was almost killed in an ambush, and he then described himself as a ‘devout coward,’ who was lucky to be alive.”
“Jubril of Sudan? And he remembers Barret, whom he met at the warfront in 1968? Tell it to the marines.”
The president’s spokesperson also shares the story of how Buhari handed him large sums of money.
“In January 2017, I was to receive the traditional title of Nwanne di Namba of Mmaku Kingdom, in Enugu State. Courtesy demanded I tell the president. This man, who prides himself as ‘very stingy’ gave me a handsome amount of money to ferry my friends and family to the ceremony. How much? I won’t tell you, lest you ask for a belated share.
“And in May 2018, I was billed for China for a 12 days course for senior government officials from Africa. He said when the journey was two days away, I should come to see him. I did. You know what he said? “Adesina, I know that you don’t have money. But you are too shy to ask.” We both laughed, and he gave me an envelope which contained foreign currency. How much? You think I’ll tell you? For where?”
Adesina says Buhari will be sorely missed after his two terms of eight years in office elapses in 2023.
“In about two years and five months, with God being merciful as He always is, President Buhari will land safely, and retire to Daura for a well-deserved retirement at 80.
“And if those engineering distraction against his government continue, it is the country that would have lost. A great deal.
“At 78, the President still scrupulously respects time. Do they make them like this anymore? Doubtful.
“Yet, many people are plotting, and engineering all sorts of artifices, to ensure Buhari does not succeed. Who loses? The country!” Adesina adds.