Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari denies dying and being replaced by Sudanese clone

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari denies dying and being replaced by Sudanese clone

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari denies dying and being replaced by Sudanese clone

Nigerian social media has recently been home to a vigorous debate on whether the 75-year-old Buhari, prone to long absences from the country to receive unspecified medical care, died long ago and was replaced with "Jibril", a clone from Sudan.

Buhari, who is seeking re-election in February, spent five months in Britain past year to receive treatment for an undisclosed illness.

While social media rumours about heads of state and celebrities being replaced by lookalikes or clones are not uncommon it is rare that a prominent figure is called upon to respond to them. "It's [the] real me; I assure you", Buhari added.

The Kaduna central lawmaker uploaded pictures of his visit to Sudan with the caption: "When I went to Sudan I asked them if they know of any Jubril, they say they don't".

In a statement released by the president's spokesman Garba Shehu, Buhari said: "A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health".

Buhari referred to those spreading the rumors as "ignorant" and "irreligious".

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.

Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of secessionist group Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), has also been fuelling the rumours, AFP found.

Buhari arrived in Krakow, Poland, on December 2, ahead of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In the video, Kanu tells a crowd, "The man you are looking at in the television is not Buhari..." Another rumor suggests that the top seat is now occupied by an impostor, namely an imaginative Jibril Aminu of Sudan. They (the cabal) brought him in to act and behave like the "dead" Buhari.

"It is of note that rather than diminish the stature of President Buhari, the lie about his being cloned has rather increased goodwill for him with even the global media reporting his response in a way that exposed and confirmed the limited reasoning of those that were promoting the story".

"The introduction of cloning into the narrative was a ploy to confuse the people".

While acknowledging that it had not been easy financing the security sector in the country, the president said the Nigerian Armed Forces were equal to the task.

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