03/12/2018 09:26 GMT

Nigeria's President Denies Rumours He Died And Was Replaced By A Sudanese Clone

"It's the real me, I assure you."

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has quashed rumours that he was temporarily replaced by a Sudanese clone named Jubril following speculation that he had died.

Rumours circulated the internet for months after Buhari spent five months in the UK in 2017 while being treated for an undisclosed illness.

Political opponents helped spread the conspiracy theory, despite no evidence being presented.

And yet, YouTube and Facebook videos making the claim have been watched thousands of times.

But during a meeting in Poland on Sunday, Buhari, 75, denied the existence of any Jubril.

“It’s the real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong.

“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. That embarrassed him a lot and of course, he visited me when I was in London convalescing.”

He dubbed those who spread the rumour “ignorant and irreligious”.

His statement has been pinned to his official Twitter account for the world – and his 1.76m followers – to see.