Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has denied claims circulating on social media that he is a Sudanese clone.
Buhari, who is running for re-election in February next year, told Nigerian in Poland that the allegations that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese lookalike named Jubril are unfounded and being spread by “ignorant and irreligious” people.
Buhari has been beset by ill health since coming into office in 2015. He was on medical leave in the UK for over three months in 2017.
After his return to Nigeria, he revealed to have “never been so sick”, but did not disclose what he was suffering from.
Conspiracy theorists who include leaders of opposition have been circulating on social media that the current Nigerian president is a lookalike named Jubril from Sudan.
No evidence has been presented, but videos making the claim have been viewed thousands of times on YouTube and Facebook.
In breaking the silence, ‘Buhari’ was asked about ‘Jubril’ by Nigerians he met in Poland where he was attending a conference.
“It’s the real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong,” he responded.
“A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health. Some even reached out to the Vice President to consider them as deputies because they assumed I was dead,’’ he said.
A video of President Buhari answering the question, which shows his colleagues laughing as the question is read out, has been posted to his Twitter account.
It was also circulated by his officials in an emailed statement entitled “It’s Real Me, President Buhari Responds to Cloning Allegation”.
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