Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, who was said to be convalescing in a London hospital finally returned home, February 7
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Feb. 18, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
HIS arrival on Thursday, February 7, in the country has finally laid to rest the controversies surrounding his prolonged absence from his duty post. Sullivan Chime, governor of Enugu State returned to the country earlier than expected. Last week, Godswill Akpabio, governor of Akwa Ibom State, had assured Nigerians that the embattled governor would return to the country on February 10. His return came a few days after Save Enugu Group, SEG ,decided to suspend its campaign against Chime’s absence since Sunday Onyebuchi, his deputy, had proved to them that Chime handed over to him before travelling out of the country.
Akpabio has urged Nigerians to always trust their representatives and warned against playing politics with people’s health. “I’m very grateful to God that Governor Chime has recovered fully and would be assuming duties within the next 10 days. It’s not something that any Nigerian should be sad about, rather, we should be happy because he’s returning to the country within 10 days from today he would be in government house in Enugu. I can confirm that,” he said.
Akpabio, who also appeared in the controversial photograph with Chime alongside Gabriel Suswam governor of Benue State and Rotimi Amaechi governor of Rivers State, put to rest the insinuation in some quarters that the photograph was manipulated. He said: “I was part of the delegation that visited governor Chime in London, and I brought a message of goodwill from him; and like I said, we must learn to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. We should not play politics with people’s health.”
The SEG, in a letter dated January 31, said that since Onyebuchi, had proved beyond reasonable doubt to them that Chime handed over to him through a letter to the state House of Assembly before travelling and had also been proved that Chime was also receiving treatment in a London hospital, all the issues concerning his whereabouts has been settled.
The SEG letter said in part: “The issue of the whereabouts and status of governor Chime has been essentially settled. From the state government spin that he was on holiday enjoying his accumulated leave, it is now publicly known and tacitly conceded by them that he is convalescing in London.
“All the rumours and speculations have now been laid to rest and various groups are now praying for his full recovery. The state government has not acted on our advice to facilitate seven days of prayers and fasting for his recovery. They also have not officially explained to the people of the state what the true situation of the Governor is, nor apologised for all the lies and falsehood,” it said.
According to SEG, “they also refused to constitute a delegation of eminent sons and daughters of the state as we suggested to visit the ailing Governor, rather, in utter contempt of the people of Enugu state and Igboland, they came up with a questionable picture of Governor Chime with some governors. We are, however, reliably informed that certain federal legislators from our state have perfected plans to visit our Governor in London.
“We join in the various private initiatives on prayer intercessions and urge all men and women of goodwill to pray fervently for ailing Governor Chime. All these would not have been possible had SEG not intervened and brought these matters to the public domain with robust and aggressive advocacy. It is not over until it’s over, but SEG would now launch Phase II of its pro-democracy agenda in Enugu state.”