‘‘I Am Not Jubril,’‘Concoction From Nigerians Who Wish To Distract My Administration’’- Buhari

By Suleiman Umaru

For years, there have been rumours making the rounds that President Muhammadu  Buhari   had died  and was being impersonated  by one Jubril from Sudan. The rumour became pronounced in 2018 when the Katsina born Nigerian President had just returned from the United Kingdom, UK, after spending some months away treating an undisclosed ailment.

The Katsina state born  Nigerian President may have ignored the Conspiracy theory or   to join issues with those he had described    as ‘‘mischief makers   and cheeky’’ to avoid distracting him from the main issues of governance of providing dividends of democracy to the people. ‘‘Our main issue is to provide basic infrastructural facilities, to make people aware that they need to work hard to live well’’.

Many believe that the Nigeria President may not have replied the so –called mischief makers or cheeky persons because of his preparation for his 2019, re-election bid. He had won 2019, reelection with a wide high margin   over his closest rival Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian Vice President during Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration and the  theOpposition People’s Democratic Party PDP, Presidential Candidate.

 But Nigerians in Diaspora could not take it. Recall that   an interactive session with the   Nigerian Community,  in Krakow, Poland,  in 2018, giving the rumours that he is not the real Buhari they used to know some years back  but one Jubril from Sudan,  -his supposed double –Pesident Buhari, he had told them:  ‘it is real me, I assure you’‘.  He had described the authors of the confusion about him then as ‘‘ignorant and irreligious’’.

He was said to have  assured the Nigerian Community in Poland  that they have no cause to worry as  his government will continue  to maintain  focus  and deliver  on the three  focal points  of his electioneering Campaign  in 2015: Security,  economy and the fight against Corruption.   

He was reported to have said that some people reached out to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to consider them to be his Deputy because they have assumed that ‘‘ I was dead’’. He was said to have told close Associates and loyalists that the Statement from the rumour mongers ‘‘embarrassed him a lot’’ but that was how far he could go. Between 2018 and now, the Nigerian President had not found it necessary to address Nigerians on the issue.

Barely six months to the expiration of his second term in office, the Presidency had produced a documentary ,’ ‘celebrating  a Patriot, a Leader, an Elder statesman’’,  which was aired  on Friday, December 23, 2022, at night   at a private  dinner  in Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to celebrate his 80th birthday  amidst opposition from Nigerians.

Adesina: Produced Documentary On President Buhari

He may have taken advantage of the  opportunity provided by Femi Adesina,  a Special Assistant , on Media and Publicity and his Team  to respond to the weighty  rumour  regarding to his being impersonated by one Jubril from Sudan to rule the most populous and major oil producing country in in the African Continent.  His response to questions put to him in the documentary that he is one Jubril from Sudan clearly shows that he was waiting   for a time like this to do so.

In apparent  response to a question  from the documentary producers led  by GFemi Adesina, Special Assistant to the President on Median and Publicity   whether he found the claims   that he is one Jubril from Sudan, he simply said ‘‘No’’, stating  ‘‘ it is not funny  because those who made the Statement ,  just want to be cheeky’’.

The Nigerian President  who had said that he won’t ‘‘miss  much’’ leaving office  for the next Nigerian President after the 2023, general elections on May 29, 2023, had said  that he is being’ ‘‘harassed  by some people  who think  they can intimidate  the Authorities  to get what  they want instead  of going  through  established systems  to go  and learn whatever  they want’’.  

 He had said that the rumour mongers just want ‘‘to enjoy life while earning the respect of their community and so on’’. Nigerians believe that it was a wrong time for the Presidency to have aired the documentary because of the biting problem of fuel scarcity that has lingered for three weeks, leaving millions of Nigerian stranded and complicating their Yuletide plans, across the country.

 Critics had expected  the Presidency   shift the date for airing the Buhari documentary  against the backdrop of  biting fuel scarcity in the country ,  but Adesina , a Presidential spokesperson  , had appealed to Nigerians  not to allow  the  lingering fuel crisis  distract  them  from  the insight of  the film  would accord them about the Buhari Administration.

He was  said to have dismissed  those who had called   for a shift in the airing of the elder statesman documentary as ‘ ‘armchair critics  who would  never agree  to any  auspicious  time  to roll  out any  initiative  that portrays  Buhari in good light’’. Take for instance, the 283.750 KM, rail line, passing through the ancient town of Kano,  Jigawa and Katsina, his home state,  to Maradhdi, in Niger Republic

.In executing the $1.959 billion rail project connecting Nigerian government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU,   with Mota-Engil Group, a Multinational   Engineering and Construction firm. Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and immediate past minister of Transportation, was said to have signed the agreement on behalf of the Nigerian government while Antonio Gvoea,Managing  Directorof Mota-Engil Group  signed on behalf of the Construction firm in Abuja in 2021.

Are indications that the government

  There are indications that the government had spent an additional $ 4.9 billion from the eternal loans approved by the National Assembly to  up work on the project  to ensure that it is completed before handing over to the next  government.

 Going by the speed at which the  contracting firm are doing the work,   the 25 Km, Nigeria-Niger rail network from the  Nigria border town of Jibiya  to Marahdi  in Niger epublic ,  connecting  Kano, Jigawa and Katsina, the three norther states  may likely resume operation   in May , 2023, before the end of Buharri’s second term in office.

He may have his reason. This is because the next government, if Aswaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, for the 2023, general elections lose the elections to Atiku, the Candidate of the PDP or Peter Obi, the Labour Party, LP, Presidential C Flag bearer, the Nigerian- Niger Republic connecting rail link project described as a waste of funds by the Opposition party, may be cancelled.

Bishop Kukkah: Catholic Dioces Of Sokoto

An angry  Hassan  Mathew- Kukah, the Bishop of  the Catholic  Diocese  of Sokoto,  who is not amused by the Buhari documentary had said  that  despite the lofty promises  of President Buhari, he is  leaving Nigerians  far more ‘‘vulnerable  than when he assumed  office on May 29, 2015 and won his re-election bid in 2019. He noted that ‘ ‘the health of the Nigerian President has improved  over the last seven years  but wished  that ‘‘millions of Nigerians  enjoy a fraction  of  the President’s enhance  health  through access to better health services  in the country’’. He had said that  Nigeria has become a tale of two cities with wars between  the rich and the poor  under the Buhari Administration,  noting that’‘  fixing the country  the country and getting  it back  requires  courage, honesty truth, humility , trust and firm commitment’’.

 He may have shocked Nigerians in his Christmas message as he commended him   for the efforts made in the area of ‘‘provision of infrastructure and in seeking to end malfeasance in the electoral processes’’.  Notwithstanding the bold achievements by the Administration, he still ‘’prays for a free, fair and credible 2023, general elections in Nigeria’’.