4 October 2019
As police clashed with protesters outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Nigerian President Buhari faced a raft of strange accusations on Thursday.
Granted, things get a little crazy with politics in South Africa. But it seems our Nigerian brothers and sisters are taking things one step further. As President Buhari came to give a speech in Pretoria following last month’s xenophobic riots, he was met with an altogether different kind of confrontation at the Union Buildings.
Protesters had gathered outside of the iconic landmark to make their voices heard. But those within earshot might have had to do a double-take when they clocked what the demonstrations were about. The group were demanding that Buhari addresses them immediately – and, while he’s at it, volunteer for a DNA test.
Why Nigerians want Buhari to take a DNA test
No, this isn’t a very continental episode of Jerry Springer. And it’s nothing to do with baby-mama drama. That would all be too simple. Instead, the protesters who rocked up outside the Union Buildings firmly believe that Muhammadu Buhari is either a clone, or has been replaced by a man called Jubril from Sudan.
The government have been openly accused of being complicit in a conspiracy by Biafran activist Nwannekaenyi “Nnamdi” Kenny Okwu Kanu. Kanu is a leading member of the Indigenous People of Biafra, a separatist group that seeks political autonomy for the Igbo speaking people of Southern Nigeria.
Watch protesters label the Nigerian President an “imposter”:
Police use full force against protesters outside the Union Buildings
However, with conspiracy theories aside, things did get seriously heated during Buhari’s address. The civil disruptors were dispered by stun grenades and rubber bullets. It has been reported that one of the Biafrans – a Nigerian national – was wounded in the leg and he’s currently receiving medical treament.
Buhari in South Africa
Buhari said in his speech that he stood in solidarity with Ramaphosa in ensuring that xenophobic violence does not break out again. Buhari called on the South African government to learn from Nigeria, in how they dealt with the perpetrators nabbed for instigating the violence against South African businesses.
The Nigerian President will hold a ‘town hall’ meeting with Nigerian expats on Friday, where he will get an opportunity to hear about the traumas that his people have suffered since the xenophobic violence broke out.
What is a Biafran?
Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a state in West Africa which existed from 30 May 1967 to January 1970; it was made up of the states in the Southern Region of Nigeria. People from this region identify with the old nation. The original declaration of independence from Nigeria resulted in civil war between Biafra and Nigeria.
By Tom Head. A version of this report first appeared in the South African.