Like tales by moonlight, Nigerians and Nigeria were in 2017 visited by the news of the alleged death of President Muhammadu Buhari, and a certain Jubril of Sudan became his clone. There is also a belief that Jubril, who is also known as Jibril Aminu, Jibrin, and Jibril El-Sudanese, may not have been cloned but was brought from Cuba, made to look, sound, act like Buhari and take over the country as president. The conspiracy theory that started with one man named Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on social media soon spread like wildfire. The story of Jubril of Sudan has not died down as many other rumors in the country but lives to see years with many people believing in the theory as time progresses.
Historically, there are several scenarios that led to body doubling as the alleged case of Buhari-Jubril. This includes Russia’s Felix Dadaev to impersonate Joseph Stalin. Also, Saddam Hussein allegedly used 4 different body doubles. However, the Jubril-Buhari conspiracy theory of body doubling or impersonation is not the first time Africa is met with such a theory in recent times. One of the continent’s most celebrated heroes, Nelson Mandela, is believed to have died in the 1980s and was replaced by an imposter named Gibson Makanda to continue as Mandela, who died in 2013. Again, Gabon faces a similar conspiracy theory when President Ali Bongo purportedly died but had an imposter to continue his reign as president.
Jubril of Sudan and Muhammadu Buhari’s conspiracy theory has brought about a long-term debate in Nigeria and has gotten the attention of different countries across the globe. Different groups believe in different things concerning the theory. Others believe it to be a blatant lie that may have come due to political propaganda, while many hold tightly to it. The debate has lasted so long, and proof has been given why the current Buhari may not be the same that was voted in 2015. Whatever be the case, here are all sides of the story and how Jubril of Sudan became a major part of Nigeria and its affairs.
How The Theory of Jubril of Sudan Started
One of the crucial political propaganda during the 2015 campaign was Muhammadu Buhari’s old age and his health challenges. After he won the elections and became president in 2015, he was well-known for traveling out of the country to seek medical help. In the fall of 2016, his health deteriorated, and in early 2017, Buhari spent months out of the country due to health issues. The government failed to update the people about his health progress. At that time, Nigerians began to ask questions and wonder if he was still alive.
Still, in 2017, IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu started a conspiracy theory that Buhari had died, was buried in Saudi Arabia, and was replaced with Jubril of Sudan, who had fled to Cuba. At that time, only a few Nigerians gave the theory a listening ear. However, when Buhari’s health became stable amidst other reasons, more Nigerians started to believe the story.
What Nigerian Politicians Think About The Jubril of Sudan Conspiracy Theory
Of the many conspiracies about Muhammadu Buhari that have lasted a while is that which claims he has an imposter who is a Sudanese. The conspiracy has led to many politicians joining the debate at several points. First, Muhammadu Buhari assured Nigerians several times that he is real and not fake, as Kanu pointed out. Here are major politicians in Nigeria and their thoughts about the theory.
Some Politicians Who Think The Conspiracy Theory is A Lie
- Olusegun Obasanjo: the former President of Nigeria believes that Buhari is not the same man he used to know back in the military. Although the character of Buhari has changed drastically, he feels that the conspiracy theory is absurd.
- Femi Adesina: he is a journalist and Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to Buhari. Adesina claims that Buhari is not Jibril Adamu or Jubril of Sudan, as others call him. In trying to give proof, he said that when Buhari came back from his trip after months of ailment and the first time as ‘alleged Jubril,’ he called him by name. He went further to add that it was the first time that Buhari had seen him in Agbada and the President immediately recognized it. According to Adesina, if it weren’t the real Buhari, he wouldn’t have recognized that it was one of the rare moments he ever wore the type of clothing.
- Lai Mohammed: according to Lai, the theory is an idiotic one that does not require attention. His proof is that Buhari still remembers the things that happened in the 1980s when he was the Head of State of Nigeria.
In addition, there are several other Nigerian politicians – mostly of the APC political party who support that the Jubril-Buhari conspiracy is nothing but a lie.
Some Major Politicians Who Believe in The Conspiracy Theory
- Femi Fani-Kayode: the former minister and Special Adviser started his propaganda about Buhari before the 2015 general election when he claimed that Buhari didn’t have any certificate. When Nnamdi Kanu came up with his thought about Nigeria being ruled by a Sudanese, it didn’t take him so much time to believe and share his thoughts, especially on social media.
- Reno Omokri: a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri had his doubt if the story of body doubling of Buhari was true. Nevertheless, he began to doubt if Buhari was not dead and truly replaced by a Jubril Aminu a year later. But his theory claimed that the President might not have been cloned as earlier stated but may have been replaced by another man with the help of plastic surgery. He also added that he further drew his conclusions after Aisha Buhari mentioned that her husband’s government was hijacked by 2 people. He also gave another reason stating that real Buhari may not have praised the corruption of Umar Ganduje and freeze the account of an innocent politician Peter Obi. Reno firmly believed this was unlike Buhari.
What Nigerians Think About The Jubril-Buhari Conspiracy Theory
Dear Nigerians as General Buhari is about to address the nation today, lets pay attention to his key physical features, such as his ear, hands and neck. Make we know if na clone, Jibril or Buhari dey address us.
— tiredNigerian (@DuruchibuzorE) October 22, 2020
You wanted him to broadcast to Nigeria and Nigerians which he did. Now, it's a recorded sound, it's Jibril, you wanted a media chat again. Haba. This government might be incompetent, does all these safe us from COVID-19.
Untill we Stop this politicing everything….
— Olaomoju (@Kamoine) March 29, 2020
When it all began in 2017, many Nigerians ignored the tale of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu about his led conspiracy theory that the Buhari is not real. With time, many of the country’s citizens began to doubt if the theory was wrong after all. Social media became the major grounds of argument, with people pointing out the different things they observed about the alleged Jubril who has been ruling Nigeria.
The security challenges and said injustices against some ethnic groups, with very little granting of interviews and addressing the nation, among other reasons, have led many to believe the presence of an imposter called Jubril. However, what many Nigerians have failed to provide is proof of the claim.
What Proof Has The Jubril Of Sudan Conspiracy Theory Presented?
There Was An Alleged Death Certificate of Buhari
In a bid to prove an imposter rules Nigeria, a death certificate that is said to be that of Buhari was leaked on the internet in 2020. The certificate made several Nigerians believe there is an existence of Jibril. Still, others claim it could have been put together by the enemies of the government to deceive unsuspecting people.
Queen Elizabeth II and Eric Joyce Allegedly Sent Nigeria a Condolence Message Over The ‘Death’ of Buhari
On social media, pictures of a purported condolence letter written by Queen Elizabeth have rounded, especially on Twitter. According to the claims, the letter was written on 7 February 2017. Many APC politicians have claimed the letter to be fake.
In a similar vein, the former British Lawmaker, Eric Stuart Joyce, sent his condolence message to Nigeria in 2017. In his tweet, he claimed that Buhari died on May 19, 2017. However, two days after the condolence message, Joyce said in another tweet that the UK was uninterested if Nigeria’s President was reportedly dead or alive.
Buhari is Claimed To Be Left-Handed While Jubril is Right-handed
Although there are ambidextrous people, many supporters of the Behari-Jubril theory claim that it is impossible for a man in his 70s to quickly switch from using his left hand to using his right. Many pictures have come up on social media where Buhari was a constant user of his left hand while alleged Jubril is right-handed.
Apart from the pictures, there is no proof that Buhari used his left hand before his ailment in 2017. Those against the theory further claimed that those in support of it might have used the mirror effect on many of the pictures that have been released.
The Theory Suggests That Jubril is 2 Inches Shorter Than Buhari
Before he took ill that led to his alleged death, Buhari was a noticeably tall man who was taller than many politicians in Nigeria, including former Senate President Bukola Saraki. However, upon his return, it was noticed that he became shorter than some of the public figures he was taller than. When questions were raised, Lai Mohammed claimed that up until his return in 2017, Buhari was wearing high heels but had to stop following the advice of his doctor.
Aisha Buhari May Have Claimed Her Husband is Not The One Ruling Nigeria
Aisha Buhari, the wife of Muhammadu Buhari, is vocal with her concerns about Nigeria and how her husband rules until recently. She opened up through an interview in 2019 that the government ruled by her husband was hijacked by bad people. However, that was not the first time she made such a claim. Traveling back to 2018, she claimed that two people took charge of Buhari’s government and wouldn’t let it succeed.
Although her statements may not necessarily mean that there is an imposter named Jubril or Jibril that is ruling the country, supporters of the Jubril el-Sudanese conspiracy theory think otherwise.
The Conspiracy Theory Asserts That Jubril of Sudan is Younger Than Buhari
With a more wrinkled face and body, Buhari began the campaign that led to him becoming the president of Nigeria in 2015. His looks didn’t change up until after his treatment in 2017. The reason for his looking younger may be due to the stabilization of his health, or perhaps there was surgery at a point. This is according to the sect that believes no imposter is ruling Nigeria. Those who believe there is a Jubril of Sudan think otherwise. They believe that the President looks younger because he is not the same person voted in 2015.
It is not only Buhari’s skin that is a thing of concern when it comes to whether there is the existence of Jubril Aminu. The issue of the alleged sudden change of the shape of his ears has also raised eyebrows.
The Conspiracy Theory States That Jubril and Buhari Have Different Palm Lines
This is one of the strongest backbones of the claim that an imposter is ruling Nigeria and not Buhari. Supporters of the conspiracy theory maintain that there is no possible explanation that the lines in a man’s palm suddenly change their looks. Several pictures to back up this assertation have come out after Nnamdi Kanu pointed out. The media and Nigerians have been keen to look further into the palm of its President, but then, he rarely waves with an open palm.
Buhari Has Failed to Answer Important Questions Thrown at Him to Proof He is Real
Buhari has definitely denied being a Jubril but has left many questions unanswered. Partisans of the Jubril-Buhari theory say it is proof that the real Buhari is dead and Jubril is his body double as long as he does not address questions first asked by Femi Fani-Kayode. Until these demands are met, the conspiracy theory may continue to loom like a menacing shadow in the minds of Nigerians. The ultimatum by Kayode, which has been accepted by many Nigerians for Buhari to prove he is not fake, includes the following:
- Buhari should accept the challenge to have a two-hour interactive no-holds-barred live media chat on National TV.
- To accept the challenge to have his ears and hairline measured and examined on live TV.
- Since there is a declaration that Jubril does not know Fulfulde, Buhari should speak the language non-stop for an hour on National TV.
- The president is called to explain why his height seems shorter and why he is suddenly younger.
- He is challenged to call out Eric Stuart Joyce for pronouncing him dead and calling Nigerians gullible and naive.
- He should explain why Haibu Almu, who discovered Jibril Aminu and proposed him as a candidate for the body-double of Buhari in 2016, was killed in 2018, weeks following how he played a role in the body-double chronicle.