After almost three months absence, Cross River State Governors Liyel Imoke finally returned to Nigeria Friday evening from the United States of America.
Sources said the governor who took a two-month leave on December 6 last year to attend to an undisclosed ailment in Maryland, USA arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport
Lagos in the evening and was swiftly driven to an undisclosed location.
The source added: “The governor is hale and hearty and would return to Calabar in a few days time.”
Also, a text message sent yesterday evening by us to a close aide of Obioma (Liyel wife) also confirmed the arrival of the governor and his wife in Lagos. She replied: “Yes, the governor is back. To God be the glory.”
The state’s acting governor, Effiok Cobang had two weeks ago hinted about the governor’s imminent return to the country, saying he would return ‘any moment from now.”
Cobang added: “The governor is in Maryland. Any moment from now he will return. He is not in any life threatening condition. There is no secret about his whereabouts. Last December, I had cause to address the elders forum of this state and it was one of the platforms that I felt was necessary for me to clear all doubts about the whereabouts of the governor. If he does not return this weekend, he will definitely do so next week,” he said.
In the last three months, there had been intense speculations about Imoke’s state of health and long absence with some saying that his health had further deteriorated and that he could no longer continue in office as governor.
When the rumour persisted, the governor had to respond through his Facebook page saying, “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.’’
Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba also debunked insinuation that Imoke could no longer continue in office: “I met with Governor Liyel Imoke in the United States recently during a visit. He was not sick, let alone being on hospital bed as rumoured. Imoke, which I saw, was in good health contrary to the rumours in Calabar that he has passed on. We even joked about rumours of his death.”