A retired army colonel, Tony Nyiam, says President Muhammadu Buhari had publicly revealed he is from the Niger Republic.
Niger is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin and Burkina Faso to the southwest, Mali to the west, and Algeria to the northwest.
Nyiam said this in an old interview with Arise TV, in which snippet was shared by a former presidential aide, Reno Omokri.
The retired military officer, now a human rights activist, while speaking on the surge in herdsmen crisis, maintained that Buhari, who he admires, was his boss.
He also revealed that the President had declared that most of his family members are Nigeriens even though “he owes allegiance to Nigeria.”
Nyiam also claimed that “General Muhammadu Buhari was my boss, the General Officer Commanding when I commanded a unit under him. He went against Shagari to defend Nigerian interest against Chadians.
“In one of the briefings, when he was briefing us, he openly told us that most of his family are from Niger and that he is a Nigerian officer and that he owes allegiance to Nigeria.
” I admired Buhari then, that a man whose family is partially from the Niger Republic and yet is loyal to Nigeria, this was against all the pressure given by other people that Shagari should pull out and allow the Chadians have their way, General Buhari refused,” he said.
“So why is Buhari now so different? Maybe his wife may answer it because the wife has been battling those who have been holding the President hostage. The President is no more General Muhammadu Buhari. Some of us knew who was a patriot,” he added.
Reached for comments by PeoplesGazette on the President’s citizenship, his media aide, Femi Adesina, did not respond to call or message.
Buhari has over time claimed to be a native of Daura, in Katsina state, which is close to the border with the Niger Republic.
Controversies trailed the President’s re-election after the All Progressives Congress, a platform through which he won, claimed that his counterpart Atiku Abubakar was a Cameroun citizen.
Subsequently, reports emerged that Buhari was a citizen of the Niger Republic.
A former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in a tweet, also claimed that “When a non-Nigerian (Buhari) accuses a bona fide Nigerian of being a foreigner, you begin to appreciate why those that have insisted on calling Nigeria a zoo may have a point.
“It is only in Nigeria that a man whose father was from the Niger Republic can accuse others of being foreigners,” Fani-Kayode said on his Facebook wall.