After over 130 days (4 months) of hide-and-seek concerning the health status and whereabouts of Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, southeast Nigeria, the governor who is believed to be sick, is back in the country.
He arrived Abuja this morning as confirmed by the state Commissioner for Information Chuks Ugwoke who further said he is expected in Enugu state later today and that preparations were on in the state to receive him.
Ugwoke, who made the confirmation through a telephone interview this morning on a Lagos-based television station, however, insisted that the governor went on vacation against the popular belief that he was treating cancer.
The commissioner who made efforts to convince Nigerians during the interview, further defended the governor’s disappearance from the country, saying the Nigerian constitution did not specify the number of days a governor could spend on vacation.
“There’s no reason to hide why he was away, he went on leave, he was on vacation and the constitution does not state what time the governor must spend.
“You can use your vacation to do some other things. During his vacation, he had the advantage and opportunity to do some other things he deemed necessary,” the commissioner stressed.
He said the governor’s sudden appearance in the country had put paid to the falsehood being spread by the opposition in the state.
Ugwoke also denied that the state was paralysed because of the absence of Governor Chime. According to him, the governor had handed over to his deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi, who had been acting in that capacity awarding contracts and keeping the state running.
He said the state Executive Council held six meetings since the governor’s absence against the popular belief that the acting governor was not in charge.
“People are entitled to their views concerning how the health status of the governor was handled.
“The good news is that the governor is back and we should refuse to go back to yesterday.
“He is in Nigeria. He landed in Abuja and we are expecting him in Enugu,” he said.
The Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, who was in the studio when the commissioner announced the governor’s arrival, took out time to slam the state government for shielding the health status of the governor, who was believed to be treating cancer of the thyroid in a London hospital.
According to Aremu, no President of America goes on vacation outside America, “but here, in our cetenary, we are still battling to know where our governor is and you can see the commissioner trying to impress us here.”
He said many Nigerian leaders are travelling abroad while their counterparts in other countries are busy with development.
He described Nigeria as a miserable country.
“In 100 years, what have we learnt from even the colonialists who came here to turn Nigeria around?
“They built the railway from Lagos to Kano and years after, we are still trying to revive the moribund rail system,” he lamented.