President Muhammadu Buhari Friday night described the claim that he was dead and Jibril Aminu from Sudan’ occupying the presidential villa in Aso Rock, as a joke that was not funny.
President Buhari stated this in a documentary at a private dinner organised by his family and very closed associates, to celebrate his 80th birthday tagged “Celebrating A Patriot, a Leader, an Elder Statesman”.
The documentary, produced and directed by US based filmmaker Ose Oyemadan, showcased the President’s early life, school days, military career, rise as Head of State in 1984, coup and imprisonment, release, PTF days and return to democracy where he contested elections in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 when he won and his re-election in 2019.
The narrative was driven by the President and supported with deep and authoritative insights by his nephew, Mamman Daura, classmate, Senator Abba Ali, close family members, friends, aides and political associates, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, spokesman, Femi Adesina, former running mate in CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Special Envoy to Chad, Amb. Babagana kingibe, State Chief of Protocol, Lawal Kazaure, SGF, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gamvari and the publisher/biographer, John Paden.
The President said some Nigerians have a way of creating humour to feast on something they do not understand, adding that the rumour that he was dead and one Jubril from Sudan was the work of of some mischief makers to demonstrate their cheekiness.
Asked by the interviewer if he heard about the crazy rumour a while back that he was not Buhari, he replied smiling, “Yes! People said I am somebody from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves.”
Also asked whether he finds such things funny, the President said: “No. It’ is not funny because those who made those statement, they just want to be cheeky. They want to distract attention from the main issue.
“Our main issue is to do the infrastructure, make people aware that they need to work hard to live well. They just want to enjoy life without earning the respect of their community and so on.”
The President also said he will not miss Aso Rock much because he is being harassed and that his efforts to make the country better is not good enough and appreciated by some people.
Asked what he will miss about the presidency when he leaves, Buhari said: “I wonder if I am going to miss much. I think I’m being harassed. I believe I’m trying my best but still my best is not good enough. Because there are people around that think that they can intimidate me to get what they want instead of going through certain systems to earn whatever they want to earn. And they are some people who want to be clever by half.”
The President revealed that he lost two of his children by his late wife to sickle cell anemia and that was why when he wanted to remarry, he insisted the second wife must be AA genotype, so that his children will not inherit the S from his AS genotype.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, while proposing a toast for the celebrant, described him as a forthright, good and kind man, as well as an exemplary leader.
He also noted that the president would make a very good entertainer in retirement because of his wackiest sense of humour.
Osinbajo recalled how the president used jokes to calm him down and rescind his decision to submit a letter to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), to investigate allegations of corruption leveled against him.
“Mr. President is a very humorous man and I think he would make a very good career in entertainment one way or the other when he retires.”