6 January 2013

Nigeria: Disquiet in Enugu As Chime's Children, Relations Leave for London

The report that the health of Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State may have taken a turn for the worse following complications from a major surgery carried out on him in a London hospital is causing anxiety in the state.

Though the date and time of the said surgery was not made known when filing this report, informed sources said the governor may be suffering from a cancer-related ailment which prompted the surgery.

Initial reports had it that he was immediately flown to New Delhi in India where he was to be given a more serious medical attention, but government sources dismissed the report, insisting that the governor "who though had initially relapsed into coma" was still responding to treatment in the London hospital.

Apparently disturbed by the latest development, most family members of the governor, including his children led by Nnamdi; his brother, Jide and sister, May Orji, were said to have embarked on a trip to London earlier last week to ascertain the actual situation with their brother governor.

Also, the situation is not different within government circles as THISDAY checks revealed that most of the government officials in the state are now living in anxiety, as they continue to wonder what would likely be their fate if anything "untoward" happens in the coming weeks.

Their worry stems from the fact that about 90 percent of them are equally kept in the dark on the real condition of the governor.

The situation, sources within government circles say, is gradually getting out of hand, as members of the State Executive Council, mostly the commissioners are said to be disturbed and already planning on taking steps aimed at unraveling the mystery behind the whereabouts of the governor.

"I can tell you that the executive council is no longer finding the whole drama funny.

How can we be completely kept in the dark? Residents of the state are worried and the worst part of it is that they are relying on us to give them the true story but unfortunately, we don't have any information," the source who is also a member of the council told THISDAY.

Asked if they were planning to possibly write the State Assembly, declaring the governor incapacitated as required by the constitution, the source declined to make further comments, but rather maintained that they were worried with the situation.

"We are just worried with the situation and I can assure you that most members are having the same feeling.

Our boss indeed informed us during the last executive council meeting we had with him that he was going to be away for a long time and that the Deputy Governor would act in his absence.

"But after six weeks which was actually contained in the letter which was sent to the House of Assembly, we became worried and we have tried to ask questions from some quarters close to him and what we keep getting everyday is that he will soon be back, yet the media have been writing a whole lot concerning him.

"My brother, all we know now is that the governor is on vacation; that's the official position of government but I can tell you unofficially that there is fire on the mountain, but what I can't tell you is the colour of this fire," he noted.

Governor Chime had been away from the state since September 19, 2012 when he left the state after transmitting a letter to the House of Assembly informing them of his intention to begin his annual leave and accordingly informing them that his deputy would function as acting governor in his absence.

However, when speculation about the governor's whereabouts increased, Commissioner for Information, Chuks Ugwoke, had announced that the governor was enjoying his accumulated leave.

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