Calling me Jubril of Sudan not a funny joke – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday night described the rumours that he was dead in 2017 and had returned as one Jubril of Sudan as a joke that was not funny.
He explained how he felt about the rumour in a documentary at a private dinner organised by his family and friends to celebrate his 80th birthday tagged “Celebrating A Patriot, a Leader, an Elder Statesman”.
Buhari turned 80 on December 17 but was in Washington, United States to attend the United States-Africa Leaders Summit.
In a documentary, produced and directed by US based filmmaker Ose Oyemadan, Buhari revealed how he was hurt by the rumours and how he has grown a thick skin for rumours. “Yes, people said I am somebody from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves,” he told the interviewer.
When asked if he found it funny, he said, “No. It’ is not funny because those who made those statements, 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,” he said.
The documentary highlighted Buhari’s early life, his time in school, and his military career. It also captured his rise as Head of State in 1984, how he was accused of plotting a coup and subsequent imprisonment. His release from prison, his time as head of the Petroleum Trust Fund days, and his struggle to return as civilian president of Nigeria in 2003, 2007, 2011, and, 2015.
It culminated with how he contested and was elected in 2015 and reelected in 2019. Many of his allies including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were interviewed in the documentary. Others featured were his nephew, Mamman Daura; FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu; Media and Publicity Adviser, Femi Adesina; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari amongst others.
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 explained that the president would make a very good entertainer after he completes his second in May 2023 because of his sense of humour.
“President Buhari 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.
“One day, I went to him because there were some allegations that were made against me. And I was so angry, so I went to him to show him the letter I had written to the EFCC to investigate. He looked at it and looked at me and because he calls me VP or Professor depending on his mood.
“This time he said, ‘VP, why do you worry yourself about all these people. These people just make all sorts of allegations, they make all sorts of stories up, even they are saying that I am about to get married again. And even some foolish people were waiting at the National Mosque, waiting for me to come and marry again.”
He praised the president for leading the nation with great courage, determination, and, commitment.