LAGOS, Dec 4 – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has denied rumours that he has died and been replaced by a lookalike.
Some people thought he had been “cloned”, but “it’s [the] real me, I assure you,” Mr Buhari said.
Rumours that he had been replaced with a body double called “Jubril” from Sudan had been widely shared online.
The 75-year-old Mr Buhari, who is seeking re-election in February next year, has been beset by ill health since taking office in 2015.
He was on “medical leave” in the UK for three months in 2017.
He revealed after his return to Nigeria that “I have never been so sick”, but did not disclose what he was suffering from. He insists he is now in good health.
According to an AFP Fact Check investigation the rumours began late last year and have appeared on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube . Posts promoting the rumours have been viewed more than 500,000 times.
A former aide to Mr Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, is among the high profile individuals who have promoted the rumours.
‘Ignorant and irreligious’
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of secessionist group Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), has also been fuelling the rumours, AFP found.
In one instance, Mr Kanu shared two images of Mr Buhari, one reversed, to allege that the Nigerian leader, who is right-handed, was using his left hand – “proving” that that meant he was a body double.