The Nigerian government in Cross River state has debunked widespread rumours that Governor Liyel Imoke has died.
Commissioner for Information, Akin Ricketts, said the story was grossly unfounded.
â€œThere is no iota of truth in the rumour making the round in the state and beyond that Gov. Liyel Imoke is dead,â€™â€™ the commissioner said at a news briefing last night in Calabar
Rickett said the governor officially wrote to the state House of Assembly last week that he was handing over to his deputy, Efiok Cobham, to enable him proceed on a two-month accumulated leave.
â€œHe is not dead, he is now recuperating. There are strong indications that he will soon return to the country,â€™â€™ he said.
The governorâ€™s Chief Press Secretary and Special Assistant on Media, Mr Christian Ita, had in a statement on 6 December explained that Imoke was away on medical grounds.
The statement did not disclose the ailment but explained that Imoke started a two-month accumulated leave on 7 December.
According to the statement, Imoke has informed the State House of Assembly through a letter to the Speaker, Mr Larry Odey, that Cobham will act for the duration of the leave in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.