It appears that cloning rumors do not stop at Hollywood celebrities but also chase African presidents.
Rabat – The Gabonese presidency has denied that President Ali Bongo has recruited a “clone” or a look-alike to replace him in Gabon while he has been in Morocco for months.
A new hoax has it that Ali Bongo sent his “clone” to Gabon while he remained either in Saudi Arabia or Morocco to receive medical treatment after he suffered a stroke in October 2018.
The Gabonese presidential spokesperson, Ike Ngouoni, dismissed the rumors but appreciated “the level of creativity” in the story.
Nguoni told reporters, according to Africanews: “The President of the Republic was here in flesh, a number of people saw him. He went around the city.”
“Some of [the people] were able to approach him, observe him, see him. It is totally a hoax. I admire the level of creativity, especially on the internet and their persistence in these rumours,” he stated.
Bongo, who is currently receiving treatment in Morocco, has returned to his country twice since the New Year for very brief visits after a failed coup. Rebels emerged in Libreville in January to denounce Bongo’s absence.
Bongo suffered a stroke in October during a visit to Saudi Arabia and spent nearly a month at King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh. Rumors about his death had even emerged.
In November, the president arrived in Rabat, Morocco, to pursue treatment at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, who also shares a good friendship with Bongo.
Bongo is not the first African president to be in the center of a cloning hoax.
In December 2018, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari denied claims that he died and was replaced by a clone after he spent more than three months recovering from an unspecified illness in London in 2017.
The question popped up during his meeting with Nigerians in Poland, asking if he was the real Buhari and whether he was cloned.
“The ignorant rumors are not surprising,” he responded.