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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari denies he died and was replaced by clone

The Nigerian president has denied rumours he died following a period of ill health and was replaced by a Sudanese clone.

Muhammadu Buhari addressed the speculation as he met members of the Nigerian community in Poland, where he is attending the UN COP24 climate summit.

"It's the real me, I assure you," he said, answering a question from the audience. "I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong."

The repeated claims, spread on social media and in YouTube videos, alleged that the Nigerian leader was an impostor named "Jubril".

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

"Some even reached out to the vice president to consider them to be his deputy because they assumed I was dead."

The leader branded those behind the rumours "irreligious" and "ignorant", but said later in a tweet that they were "not surprising".

It comes after Mr Buhari spent a large part of last year being treated for a serious illness in London.

The nature of his ill health has never been revealed to the public.

The lack of detail about the president's condition, his gaunt appearance and a reduction in public appearances have fuelled the rumours.

They emerged a month after Mr Buhari returned from another long medical trip to the UK.

Many of those endorsing the rumour were known critics of the Nigerian leader and his government.

Sky News

© Sky News 2018

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