The Save Enugu Group (SEG) has urged the Enugu State government to ‘come clean’ on the Governor Sullivan Chime saga and apologize to the people of the State, as the group has on its own tracked the governor to a hospital in London.
In a statement, the group said that when it first wrote to Acting Governor Sunday Onyebuchi on January 7, it was inspired by the necessity to lift without delay the mystery surrounding the governor’s absence.
“The second letter dated 16th January 2013, was triggered by the news break from Sahara reporters that our Governor had been discovered ailing in London,” the statement said. “We, on our own commissioned private investigators who tracked our Governor also to London, undergoing treatment at Metropolitan Humane Hospital Swiss cottage.”
The group said it recommended a public broadcast by the Acting Governor to the people of Enugu State to clear the air, since the spin from government circles had been that Governor Chime was on vacation enjoying his accumulated leave.
“We demanded inter alia that the government tenders apology to the people for all the lies and falsehood, sanction all errant officials involved in this falsehood, and organize through the agency of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), seven days of prayers and fasting for the quick recovery of our ailing Governor.”
To that demand, the government did not respond either, the group said, noting that there however emerged rumours of the hijack of the machinery of the government of Enugu state by “a cabal referred to by Thisday newspapers as G-5, which had practically rendered the Acting Governor a ceremonial Governor.”
SEG recalled that on January 21, it then wrote to the Speaker of the House of Assembly demanding confirmation or denial that a letter was addressed to him by Governor Chime as required by section 190 of the Constitution, and whether the said letter was tabled and read at an open session of the House.
“As if carefully choreographed, the government of Enugu State on 22nd January 2013, released some pictures said to be taken that day showing our Governor with a delegation of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), who had gone to London to visit with him.” SEG said it reached the conclusion that that picture, purportedly taken on January 22, is fake.
“Some of the Governors shown on that picture could not have been in London on that day unless they have the gift of bi-location,” the statement said.
“Secondly and more seriously, if Governor Chime is as fit as shown, what is he still doing away from his duty post for over FOUR MONTHS?”
It said that contrary to the efforts of the government and its sympathizers or agents to misconstrue their campaign and engage in name calling or labeling, the group does not wish Governor Chime dead or evil.
“The issue here again is not about the peace of Enugu State or that government is working. It all comes down to the right of a people to know what their leaders are up to and how they are deploying tax payers’ money. It’s the issue of due process and transparency in governance; democratic engagement under the rule of law and constitutionalism.”