FOR the first time since he left the country 135 days ago, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, yesterday, opened up on his condition, saying he is in good health and will soon return to the country.
Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime flanked by some members of the Governor’s forum; Governors of benue state, akwa ibom state and rivers state.
Governor Chime’s declaration came as the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Eugene Odo, rejected a call by prominent citizens of the state under the aegis of Save Enugu Group (SEG) for the House to invoke the Doctrine of Necessity to enthrone the deputy governor of the state, Sunday Onyebuchi as acting governor.
Chime said: ”I am alive and well, I will be back very, very soon.”
Asked how he felt, the governor in a very strong, cheerful voice said: “I am great, very, very great. Tell Nigerians to discountenance all the rumours about my health.”
Chime is in good shape – Gov rotimi amaechi of rivers state
Speaking on Chime’s health, Amaechi said: “We saw him in an atmosphere of recovery. We were able to go out with him, he is in good shape and is getting ready to come back home very soon. We thank God for what He has done, how He has helped him to recover.”
He has fully recovered - Gov gabriel suswam of benue state
Also speaking, Suswam said: “Chime has been discharged from the hospital. He has recovered fully and is physically okay. I was impressed with what I saw. We walked around together, ate together and he is going about on his own.”
We must desist from wishing our leaders evil – Gov Godswill akpabio of akwa ibom state.
Also speaking on their encounter with Chime, Akpabio said: “He has recovered tremendously, I am very happy and I give glory to God. Nigerians should learn how to pray for their leaders instead of ganging up through NGOs and groups and wishing them evil. We are all human beings. As humans, we can break down anytime which means we should be sympathetic with our leaders when they face challenges whether health wise or security wise. We should pray for them instead of wishing them bad.”
Gov’s absence is in order – Odo
Odo said: “We believe that those demanding that do not actually know what the Doctrine of Necessity is all about. Perhaps, people equate Doctrine of Necessity with a mere jamboree phenomenon.”
Insisting that Governor Chime’s absence was in order and should not be compared with that of late President Yar’Adua, the Speaker restated that the governor transmitted a letter to the House before travelling, and “in the letter he empowered his deputy as the acting governor.
“And under the 1999 Constitution, section 190, whenever a governor is travelling and he intends to stay for more than 21 days, he should transmit a letter to the House of Assembly, in which case the deputy governor now becomes the acting governor, which Sullivan Chime had done.
“It beats my imagination when some people started to say that the House of Assembly should empower the deputy governor to act. Under our constitution, the power to act has been vested on the deputy governor and the constitution does not provide for double acting capacity as some people are clamouring for.”
Odo explained that the Doctrine of Necessity was applied by the National Assembly in the case of late President Yar’Adua when the president traveled without handing over to the vice president.
He also dismissed the request that certain individuals be empowered to to go and see how the governor was faring overseas.
“That is a mere moral issue. The constitution of Nigeria in Section 189 made it specifically clear that even when the governor is not feeling fine, the only statutory body that can generate a resolution to the House of Assembly is the State Executive Council and even in the House of Assembly, the Speaker has a duty to nominate five medical practitioners including the governor’s doctor for that purpose. In other words, those listed by the group did not meet the constitutional requirements; none of them is a medical practitioner,” he argued.