Protesters Interrupted President Buhari's State Visit with President Ramaphosa
The protesters claimed that the 'real' Buhari died in 2017 and insisted the imposter be sent back to Nigeria.
Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari is currently on a three-day state visit in South Africa to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa. The visit comes in the wake of xenophobic violence against African foreign nationals which saw Nigeria voluntary evacuating 600 of its citizens and returning them back home. However, during a meeting between the two heads of state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday, a group of protesters who referred to themselves as Biafran nationals, called Buhari an imposter and claimed that the "real" Buhari had died back in 2017. The protesters also called for Biafra to be restored. The police were eventually called in to disperse the protesters and three people were reportedly injured after rubber bullets were fired.
The Republic of Biafra was comprised of the southern states in Nigeria with a predominant population of the Igbo people back in 1967. Biafra sought to obtain independence from the rest of Nigeria which resulted in a civil war that has been documented in works of historical fiction such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun. While Biafrans were ultimately defeated in the war, the Indigenous People of Biafra, led by Nnamdi Kanu, is a group that still exists today but has been labelled a terrorist organization by the Nigerian government.
The Nigerian government has in the past accused Kanu of pushing propaganda that seeks to discredit Buhari. In 2018, The South African reports that the Nigerian President addressed the outlandish rumors that he was an imposter and that he had been replaced by a Sudanese man named Jubril, an alleged lookalike of the statesman.
President Buhari's talks with President Ramaphosa resulted in the two agreeing that "concrete measures" had to be taken to address the xenophobic violence in communities and prevent re-occurrences. Ramaphosa also committed to strengthening economic ties between the two countries by offering incentives to Nigerian companies wanting to do business in South Africa.