The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), has revealed that he lost two of his children to sickle cell disease.
Buhari made this known in a documentary played at a private dinner hosted by his family and close associates to mark his 80th birthday on Friday night at the State House Banquet Hall.
Speaking about his personal life, the president revealed that he lost two of his children with his late wife, Safinatu, to sickle cell disease.
This explains why, when he married the first lady, Aisha Buhari, he insisted that his second wife must have the AA genotype so that their children would not inherit the S from her AS genotype.
Buhari also described as “not a funny joke” claims by some Nigerians that he was long dead and replaced by a body double called ‘Jibril from Sudan’.
The president said the dark rumor was the work of some mischievous people who thrive on what they don’t understand.
In the documentary interview, Buhari responded to a question about the rumor by saying, “Yes! People said that I am someone from Sudan. I didn’t bother with the name. Nigerians have mischievous ways of explaining themselves.”
Asked if he finds such allusions amusing, he said: “No. It’s not funny because those who made that statement just want to be cheeky. They want to distract attention from the main topic. Our main problem is to make the infrastructure, to 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 etc.
Proposing a toast to the celebrant earlier, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described Buhari as a direct and kind man and an exemplary leader.
Osinbajo praised Buhari for leading the nation with “great courage and commitment,” saying: “I invite your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, to join me in proposing this toast to an exemplary leader, a frank and honest man, a good man. and kind. , and a man who has led this country with great courage, determination and commitment for so many years.
“We pray that Almighty God preserve his life for many more years and that he lives all these years in good health, peace, joy and with the love of all our compatriots.”
In attendance were the Governors of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu; Katsina, Aminu Masari; the former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; the Federation Government Secretary, Boss Mustapha; the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; cabinet members, family members, industry captains including AriseTV and Thisday Group Chairman Nduka Obaigbena among others.