After several public appearances and speeches since news of President Muhammadu Buhari’s “death” broke out in January 2017, the rumours should have died by now.
But no. Not yet.
In recent times, the news started trending again that Buhari actually died, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo should have taken over as president but a certain Jibrin Al-Sudani, a body double, was brought in by the “cabal” to replace him. Osinbajo would have resisted, according to the allegation, but his hands were “soiled” and he had to retreat.
How do these events connect?
CLAIM 1: Buhari died and body double replaces him
The content of various WhatsApp broadcasts claims that the president passed on in January 2017 in a United Kingdom hospital. The broadcast claims that the president was replaced with Jibrin Al-Sudani, a former prisoner and body double.
In a January 2017 fact check published by TheCable, it was established that the websites claiming to be UK’s Metro newspaper and Huffington Post of the US were spoofs.
Some of the loopholes that killed the story were: calling the high commission in London ‘Nigerian embassy’ and attributing the death announcement to the Nigerian mission and not Aso Rock, which is the seat of power.
Read the fact check here.
A commenter on social media wrote in response to the latest speculations: “The writers claimed that President Buhari who died in London was replaced by Jubrin Al-Sudani, a former prisoner but they did not think that there is something called technology. They also have never heard of a voiceprint. This is a set of measurable characteristics of a human voice that uniquely identifies an individual. These characteristics, which are based on the physical configuration of a speaker’s mouth and throat, can be expressed as a mathematical formula. The term applies to a vocal sample recorded for that purpose, the derived mathematical formula, and its graphical representation. Voiceprints are used in voice ID systems for user authentication.
“Even if the bigots that wrote the article claims that Buhari will pass the voiceprint in Nigeria, will he pass the test across the world? Will he get past world leaders? Will this mirage of a Jubrin speak like him, recognize all the people he knows, his family, friends, etc? This is a stupid and lazy allegation to say the least.
“The writers also claimed that Aisha Buhari could not stand this so-called Jubrin that she refused to receive Prince Charles and Camilla on their royal visit to Nigeria.
“But the writers forgot that in September, Aisha and her husband graced the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. They held multiple meetings that were reported by both the local and international media.”
CLAIM 2: Osinbajo blackmailed to play along
The authors also claim that Vice-President Osinbajo could not confront the cabal and take over as president because his hands were soiled with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) scandal.
True, the house of representatives report said that the vice president acted against the law by approving N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund for NEMA without appropriation from the national assembly.
However, the report said the approval was given in April, three months after the purported death of the president. Practically, the sequence of events was impossible.
Osinbajo had not given the approval during the period of the president’s rumoured death.
Linking the purported death of Buhari in January 2017 and the failure of Osinbajo to become substantive president in January 2017 to the NEMA affair of April 2017 is implausible.
The office of the vice-president has defended his action in approving the emergency funds.
According to his media team, Osinbajo, then as acting president, acted in the best interest of Nigerians and saved thousands of Nigerians by swiftly approving N5.8 billion for emergency food supply — in line with Section 43 of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Act which makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity can engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the BPP.
Conclusion: As previously established, news that President Muhammadu Buhari died in January 2017 remains false and theories that Vice-President Osinbajo could not take over office then because his hands were “soiled” from the NEMA approval in April 2017 are chronologically impossible.