Do y’all remember the movie Dave? In the 1993 comedy, Kevin Kline plays the President of the United States as well as an impersonator. When the president suffers a stroke and goes into a coma, the White House presses the impersonator into service to portray the chief executive.
Apparently, plenty of people thought this scenario was playing out over the past few months in Nigeria. Here’s a headline you don’t see every day:
That’s right, after Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari fell ill earlier this year and spent some time in a British hospital, rumors floated around that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese impersonator named Jubril.
When you’re running for reelection next year, you naturally don’t want to have to battle rumors that you’ve passed away and a lookalike has taken your place. So President Buhari has gone on the offensive to head off these rumors. As Reuters reports:
“It’s real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong,” Buhari told Nigerians in a town hall session in Poland, where he was attending a conference, when asked about Jubril.
“A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health,” he said, adding that those who spread the rumor were “ignorant and irreligious”.
His administration has also circulated the president’s remarks in an email entitled, “It’s Real Me, President Buhari Responds to Cloning Allegation.” Now, I know what you’re thinking: we shouldn’t trust one of those Nigerian emails, but if President Trump were to send an email saying, “That last press conference was me, not Alec Baldwin,” you might sit up and take notice.
There’s no word on whether the Weekend at Buhari’s rumors have had affected his campaign, but the president has had to combat corruption allegations, along with accusations that he plagiarized Barack Obama in a speech a couple of years ago.
I don’t know about you, but a story like this makes some of our political problems here in America look boring by comparison.