Corruption and Cloning — The Nigerian President

Star Robins

Tyler Kieft, Staff Writer

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Muhammadu Buhari is the 15th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having been sworn into office on May 29, 2015. He’s one of many presidents to have some correlation to the Nigerian Army, as Nigeria is greatly known for being primarily controlled by the military rather than any governmental body.

Buhari has made his way up to power through two military coups, one in 1975 in which the Head of State was overthrown by both him and his group of officers. This overthrow gave Buhari power by appointing him to Governor of the North-Eastern State and to Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources. His military aggression didn’t end there, however, as the second coup occurred in 1983, propelling him to the Head of State and giving him the chance to rebuild the country economically and politically due to a failed plot to drug and kidnap the former Minister of Transportation. This however, failed, causing the loss of many jobs, the closure of businesses, and the arrests of 500 politicians.

Buhari hasn’t been the most successful in his military control of the Nigerian government and has only been able to achieve his position through corruption and aggression. This corruption has followed him up to 2018, where he is president and running for reelections in 2019.

When asked on Friday to approve plans to reform and fix electoral laws to stop election fraud from occurring, Muhammadu Buhari refused to do so, claiming that new rules would cause “disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.” This claim, however, is untrue, as such legislation has been passed before in 2007, where issues of restrictive party formation, independent candidacy, and overbearing powers were addressed.

With this in mind, it’s clear Buhari isn’t really worried about confusing the public, but rather that he’s scared he won’t win his reelection due to changes made to reduce fraud. He worked his way up through corruption and it’s likely that this is what’s occurring right now.

Another event this week sparks some attention on his status among the people and his hopes for the election. In 2017, Buhari was in Great Britain for a total of five months to be treated for an undisclosed illness he claimed to have had. During his absence, many people wanted him to die during his treatment due to his awful leadership in the country and some even started theories that he actually did die during his treatment.

Eventually Buhari came back to Nigeria, well and better, ready to address any remarks made about his “death” as untrue. This did not happen though. After returning, a theory arose that Buhari died and was then cloned to consolidate power and ensure Buhari still has a place in the Nigerian government. The theory was started by political opponents of his on social media, claiming him to have died and been replaced by a lookalike named Jubril.

Recognizing that this is harmful to his reputation, Muhammadu Buhari came out earlier this week during a UN meeting to state that he was, in fact, not a clone.

“Someone is suggesting I am clone,” said Buhari. “A lot of people hoped that I was dead and hoped I died. But it’s the real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I’m still going strong.”