President Muhammadu Buhari for the first time on Sunday reacted personally to a trending allegation that he was cloned.
The real Buhari, according to the allegation, is dead, while the person going about as Nigeria’s President is a certain Jubril Aminu from Sudan, Buhari’s cloned version.
But speaking in far away Krakow, Poland, Buhari called those spreading the allegation as “ignorant and irreligious.”
He described himself as the real Buhari, saying that he would soon celebrate his 76th birthday and would be stronger.
‘‘It’s real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong”, a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying.
Buhari, who was addressing the Nigerian community in Poland, responded to a specific question on whether he was the real Buhari Nigerians elected as President in 2015.
The interactive session was put together by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The President spoke further, ‘‘A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health. Some even reached out to the Vice- President (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) to consider them to be his deputy because they assumed I was dead.
“That embarrassed him (Osinbajo) a lot and of course, he visited me when I was in London convalescing… It’s real me; I assure you.”
The President added that he was beyond harassment by anyone, except his grandchildren.
‘‘If I am getting harassed by anyone, it is my grandchildren, who are getting too many,” he said.
He told the session that he would continue to deliver on his campaign promises of improving security, the economy and the fight against corruption.
‘‘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.”
The Presidency said on Sunday that Buhari was in Poland to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP24.
At the conference, the President told the gathering that no territory of Nigeria was under occupation by Boko Haram terrorists.
Although, he admitted that funding security was a challenge to the Federal Government, the President assured the session that the country’s military had the might to tackle Boko Haram.
He also spoke on the crisis between herdsmen and farmers, the fight against corruption and women participation in politics.
‘‘I have plans for all Nigerians. I am not a male chauvinist. If I am a chauvinist, will I give the Finance Ministry to women?’’ he responded to a question on women representation.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Poland, Mr Adagogo Bell-Gam, while responding on behalf of the Nigerian community, informed the President that Nigerians were generally well-behaved.
Some of the people Buhari met with were Mr Larry Ugwu, an artist and curator living in Poland for 40 years; Anthony Egwuatu, a gynaecologist, who has spent 30 years there; and Mr Olomofe Larry, a human rights activist.