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Nigerian president denies rumours surrounding his ill health

AFP  |  Abuja 

Nigerian on Sunday quashed a rumour stemming from his ill health that he had died and been replaced by a lookalike impostor from Sudan, his said.

"It's real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong," Buhari said as he met with the Nigerian diaspora in Poland, where he is attending the UN COP24 climate summit in

He was answering a question from the audience about repeated claims -- spread via tweets, posts and videos -- that the of Africa's most populous nation was an imposter called "Jubril".

"A lot of people hoped that I died during my ill health. Some even reached out to the Vice to consider them to be his deputy because they assumed I was dead," Buhari said, according to a statement signed by his

He referred to those who started the rumour as "ignorant" and "irreligious".

Buhari, who is seeking re-election next year, spent a large part of 2017 in for treatment for a serious illness, which has never been revealed to the public.

A lack of specific information about the illness, along with Buhari's gaunt features and a reduction in public appearances have fed speculation about his well-being.

Claims about the president's identity emerged a month after Buhari returned from another lengthy medical trip to

Those pushing the rumour were known critics of the and his government.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 09:15 IST
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