President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon
President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon | Source RFI

Authorities in the Central African state of Gabon have responded to rumors that the current sitting president is not a clone but the actual Ali Bongo Ondimba, who was first elected president in 2009 and reelected in 2016.

Officials from Libreville, the country’s capital, dismissed rumors which have been circulating for months now that the ailing president has been cloned.

Vice President, Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou, had last year first announced that the president was barely taking a rest but towards the end of 2018, he backpedaled, saying president Ali had suffered a stroke but was well responding to treatment.

Quoting the presidential spokesperson, Ike Ngouoni, Africanews wrote that “the President of the Republic was (t) here in flesh, a number of people saw him. He went around the city. Some of them 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 rumors.”

Bongo, reports hold, is currently recovering in Rabat-Morocco and is said to have only returned to Gabon twice on urgent occasions after which he traveled back to continue treatment. Little is known of his medical record.

Since October of last year, the constant absence of 60-year old Ali Bongo, who took over from his late father, Omar Bongo Ondimba to continue their family’s 50-year role of the country, has fueled rumors of his wellbeing.

Ali Bongo Ondimba is the second African president rumored of having been cloned. Last year, Nigeria was awash with rumors that their president, Muhammadu Buhari, who has been facing health challenges for some time now had been cloned. Addressing the disturbing rumors which were affecting his campaign for reelection, Buhari reassured the Nigerian Public at a news conference in December that “It’s the real me, I assure you.”

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