President Muhammadu Buhari spent five months in Britain last year to receive medical treatment. Rumors that he had died and been replaced by a lookalike called "Jubril" then spread on the internet.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday denied a rumor floating around the internet that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese doppelganger, his spokesman said.
"It's real me, I assure you," Buhari told members of the Nigerian diaspora in Poland, where he is attending UN climate talks. "I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong."
The comment came in response to a question about rumors spread on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in recent months that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese man named "Jubril."
Buhari, who is seeking re-election in February, spent five months in Britain last year to receive treatment for an undisclosed illness.
His thin features and the limited number of his public appearances in recent months fueled speculation about his health.
"A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health," Buhari said. "Some even reached out to the vice president to consider them to be his deputy because they assumed I was dead."
He said those spreading rumors of his death were "ignorant" and "irreligious."
His office circulated the statement in an email entitled "It's Real Me, President Buhari Responds to Cloning Allegation."
cw/amp (AFP, Reuters)