Social media has been awash with a ridiculous conspiracy theory which states that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari died in 2017 and the man whom they have been seeing on TV occasionally to address them on national issues is actually his clone or put simply his impersonator.
The rumour gained grounds after many people expressed utter dismay at the recent speech he delivered to address the recent disturbances going in Nigeria amidst wild protest nationwide and the corresponding killings recorded at Lekki Toll Gate last Tuesday.
The story has been shared hundreds of times on social media, especially Facebook which was consolidated by a so-called condolence message the Queen of England, Queen Elizebther sent to Nigerians as a tribute. . In December 2018, Buhari himself addressed the rumours during a meeting with other world leaders in Poland where he said: “Somebody has said I am cloned,” adding in later tweets: “I can assure you all that this is the real me. Later this month I will celebrate my 76th birthday. And I’m still going strong!”
One of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was on the issue of whether I‘ve been cloned or not. The ignorant rumours are not surprising — when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped I was dead. pic.twitter.com/SHTngq6LJU
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) December 2, 2018
Apparently, our investigation reveals the photo of Queen Elizabeth writing the alleged condolence letter in the false posts was actually a picture taken in 2015 during the launch event for the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House. There is no record of her sending a condolence letter to Buhari’s family in 2017, and the online reports of her doing so appear to come from unofficial blogging platforms.