An investigation of media reports of Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State’s activities since he became governor in May, 2007 has unearthed the revelation that out of a possible 111 events which he could attend physically, he was present at only 17.
Chime, who has been bedridden in India for the past three months, is always represented by his commissioners or turns up very late to the events, the findings said.
Ironically, the governor was present at every one of his election rallies in both 2007 and 2011.
However, in March 2011, he collapsed during a rally in Nsukka Local Government Area of the state.
An source in the Government House, who pleaded anonymity said that he had twice relapsed in 2008 and 2009 before collapsing in 2011 at the rally.
“Most people have always blamed his absence from events on other things, but the truth is that the medical team has to be sure that the governor was in a good enough medical condition before he was allowed to go out.
“The medical team has been embarrassed severally when the governor kept falling at events and the protocol, security and aides had to block him so many people would not notice,” said the source.
However, the Commissioner of Information, Mr Chuks Ugwoke, has continued to insist that the governor was in good health, despite media reports that he had been transferred to a London hospital from India.
When the news of Chime’s ill-health and absence from the state was broken in October, the commissioner had insisted that the governor was taken an accumulated leave, his first break from office since 2007.
He insisted that the governor had presided over a State Executive Council meeting on September 18, 2012 where he announced his departure for the leave, and handed over to the deputy governor who became the acting governor as laid down constitutionally.
“He still attended a meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum the next day in Abuja, before departing the day after. These are all verifiable facts.”
He added that the governor will continue to promote freedom of thought while also maintaining civility and accommodation of all shades of opinion, including constructive criticism from the media and other quarters.