The Senator, who represented Orlu District of Imo State from May 1999 to May 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Francis Arthur Nzeribe, has reacted to a social media post against his person.
Earlier in the week, a young woman who claimed to be a relation of the Nzeribe’s, had posted some photos of the aged politician on the social media, claiming that she felt related to the senator only on account of their mutual surname, Nzeribe.
The controversial post seemed to infer that the politician had been unwell.
However, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, in a statement released by one Mr. Collins Ughala who identified himself as Nzeribe’s Chief Press Secretary, the politician informed his teeming supporters and the generality of Nigerians that he was “hale and hearty and not struck by stroke, as being suggested in some quarters.”
Here’s the press release, “The attention of Chief Senator Francis Arthur Nzeribe has been drawn to the hateful speeches going on against him in the media, especially the social media, including the unfounded rumour that he has a stroke.
“Chief Nzeribe should have ignored this hateful rumour, but to set the record straight, this brief response is offered to the effect that the rumour is false, as I don’t have a stroke.
“At 79 years old, I am hale and hearty and not suffering from a stroke. I am not in my community, Oguta, in Imo State. I am resting in my house in Abuja. And I thank God for keeping me healthy and allowing me see old age.
“Life and death are in God’s hands, and God willing, I will remain hale and hearty and not suffer a stroke until such a time when God calls me home. And no amount of hateful speech can change or alter God’s plans for me or anyone else.
“I am not suffering from stroke and I cannot wish anyone to suffer stroke. But to those manufacturing and spreading this hateful speech against me, I wish them the best.
“God has deemed it fit for me to see old age in good health, and there is nothing more to ask from God.”
This is not the first time that the senator would be debunking rumours of ill health and death about himself, though.
In 2015, Chief Nzeribe had debunked a rumour that he was terminally ill and that his wife had abandoned him.
As is the case in the present circumstance, Ughala had set the records straight by explaining that the septuagenarian only had “a domestic accident which resulted in some pains in his hip region, and he had to be hospitalised in Nizamiya Hospital in Abuja.”
He added then that Nzeribe was hospitalised for “just 10 days after slipping in his house,” after he successfully underwent surgery to repair a cracked hip bone that resulted from the fall.
Chief Francis Arthur Nzeribe was born on November 2 , 1938, in Oguta Imo State.