President Muhammmadu Buhari yesterday in Poland spoke on insinuations that he was cloned, saying he is the real Buhari.
“It’s real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong”, the president declared in Krakow, Poland, at an interactive session with the Nigerian Community in that country.
In recent times, there had been rumours making the rounds in the country’s public space that President Buhari was cloned and that the man presiding over the affairs of the country is one Jibril from Sudan.
But last week, the federal government through the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the claim as idiotic and that those peddling the rumour were not worthy of getting government reaction.
Also, a fact check published by AFP last Friday had disproved speculations that Buhari had died and was replaced by a look-alike.
Responding to a question from a Nigerian in the Diaspora who wanted to know if he was real or the much talked about ‘Jubril from Sudan’, his supposed double, the Nigerian leader noted that some people were hoping he would die during his ill health, even as he described the authors of the confusion 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 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”, a statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying.
Hinting that he was looking forward to celebrating his 76th birthday on December 17, the president jocularly added: “If I am getting harassed by anyone, it is my grandchildren who are getting too many.’’
Buhari reiterated that his government will continue to maintain focus and deliver on the three focal points of his campaign in 2015, which are security, economy and the fight against corruption.
He stated: “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”.
President Buhari who is in Poland to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) reaffirmed 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.
Acknowledging that it has not been easy financing the security sector in the country, the president said the Nigerian Armed Forces are equal to the task.
Buhari regretted that herdsmen and farmers clashes in the country had been politicised, just as he assured that the Nigerian government will continue to prioritise security for the reason that it 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 said, ‘‘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 Poland 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, among several others.
The event was organised and anchored by the senior special assistant to the president on Diaspora matters, Hon Abike Dabiri.