LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's president has taken the extraordinary step of denying rumors that he died and was replaced by a body double, assuring the country that he is alive and well.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday in Poland "It is the real me, I assure you," adding he is "going strong."

Buhari, 76, was elected in 2015 and will seek re-election in February. He has been in ill health throughout his presidency.

Rumors of his death started in 2017 when Buhari spent seven weeks in London for medical treatment. They abated when he returned to Nigeria, but increased again last month when opposition leaders and separatists claimed he had been long dead.

Most recently, rumors have been widely shared online that a lookalike from Sudan, called Jubril, was representing Buhari.

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