Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has dismissed rumours making the rounds in the state that he had passed on to the world beyond, emphasising that he was very much alive.
Imoke left the country three weeks ago for medical attention and following his doctors' advice to spare more time for a comprehensive treatment, the governor is expected to spend two months in the hospital.
Imoke had last Thursday officially transmitted a letter to Cross River State House of Assembly, which empowered his deputy, Mr. Efiok Cobham, to act on his behalf and to as well enable him attend to his health crisis. He told the House of Assembly to take note of two months of accumulated leave, beginning from December 6, 2012 to February 6, 2013.
But less than one week after the transmission, a section of the state has been awash with tales of his alleged death with some persons even insinuating that his corpse had been deposited in a mortuary in the United Stated, awaiting the Federal Government of Nigeria's official announcement of his demise and movement home.
Consequently, in public offices, markets, joints, homes and hospitals, the topic being discussed in hushed tones is the "death" of Imoke. Some persons even dare to announce the alleged death with impunity as though they had seen the corpse embalmed or in a morgue.
But as the rumour mills continue to gain grounds in different parts of the state, the governor last Wednesday dispelled the rumours through the social media, facebook.
where "sympathisers" had posted their condolences, while well wishers posted get well messages.
The governor stated: "Gratitude for the concern, kind words and messages. I am well, very well and in good health and spirit. One can't continuously cheat nature especially at the punishing pace we do. It's probably been eight to ten years or more without a break or a decent vacation.
I truly needed to take this time off. Thankfully, we are unified in our approach to governance so there's continuity which is important. Best regards." But despite this message, some persons still doubt if the man isindeed alive and kicking..