read the story).
In a statement released via his official media handle, Essien wrote on Monday,
"I have come across series of news reports and speculations on some media platforms concerning the accident at the Reigners Church Building along Uyo Village road.
"The reports which are clearly very misleading, allege that an aide of His Excellency the Governor lost his life while attempting to rescue the Governor from the rubbles of the collapsing Church building.
"Let it be known that I am still in shock on the unfortunate disaster that rocked our dear state and I grief for the loss of our beloved people, but at no time did anyone die while trying to rescue His Excellency the Governor.
"As the Governor himself has also explained, as soon as he left his seat in the church, one of the falling roofs shattered the chair, while he hurriedly left the building unscathed. At no time did anyone close to him push or rescue him, let alone die in the process. Rather it was the governor who rushed out to get rescue equipment and he supervised the rescue operations.
"By protocol arrangement, no aide seats behind the governor in official functions except his Personal Assistant on General Duties and security details. And they are all in good conditions. People should discountenance that false story in all ramification.
"I advise my colleagues in the pen profession and bloggers against be carried away by the seeming flourishing qualities of sensationalism, and rather endeavour to crosscheck their facts before going to the press.
"Those who are excited about rushing to generate imaginary stories about the dead should also consider the effect of such false reportage on other members of the society.
"At this time, prayers and words of encouragement are of essence as we attempt to get over this ugly occurrence.
"May their souls rest in peace."