‘It’s the real me’: Nigerian president denies he died and was replaced by a clone

Stranger than fiction. 

All politicians are subject to rumors and recrimination.

But few have had to answer for the sort of tall tales being told about the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who over the weekend denied claims that he had died and been replaced by a Sudanese impostor.

“It’s the real me, I assure you,” Buhari said Sunday at a town hall in Poland, where he was attending a United Nations climate conference. “I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong.”

With that declaration, Buhari broke his silence about a rumor that had taken root on social media last year, when he was away in London being treated for an undisclosed illness. The theory went that the president, who is running for reelection in February 2019, had been swapped out with a look-alike from Sudan named Jubril – even that he was “cloned,” as he put it in relaying the rumor to his nearly 2 million followers on Twitter.

There was no evidence to back up the rumor, an AFP fact-check concluded. But posts on social media claiming that Nigeria – the most populous country in Africa, and the continent’s largest economy – had come under the control of an impostor were viewed more than 500,000 times.

Via the AP

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