by Stanley Azuakola
The folks at Guardian Nigeria, did a good piece of investigation and have some news about the Enugu state governor, Sullivan Chime, who has been away from the country for four months.
His absence has sparked a messy power struggle in that state with a cabal allegedly wielding power in the governor’s stead and shunting aside the deputy governor, who has been acting since Chime’s foreign trip.
Read the full piece below:
ENUGU State Governor Sullivan Chime Monday sought medical help at the world famous 9, Harley Street Clinic, London.
Chime was at the hospital at exactly 2.30 p.m. to see Prof. Paul O’ Flynn, a renowned specialist ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) surgeon.
Accompanied by a female aide, Chime was dropped off in front of the hospital seconds before his scheduled appointment with O’Flynn. Dressed in dark trousers and a pink stripped shirt, The Guardian watched from a distance of about 10 metres as Chime, who covered himself from the freezing cold with a long unbuttoned woolen coat and a grey woolen hat that covered his face, pressed the clinic’s buzzer to be let in.
“I’ll be out within a few minutes,” he told his chauffeur who zoomed off in the direction of Oxford street.
Although The Guardian’s investigations showed that the professor of ENT should not normally consult with him for more than 15 to 30 minutes, Chime had not stepped out of the hospital of the rich and famous as of the time of filing this report (3.30 p.m. or 4.30 p.m. Nigerian time).
Chime had been away from the state since September 19, 2012. Since his departure, rumours have been strong that he had been down following an undisclosed illness.
The Guardian gathered that Chime had been discharged from Wellington Humane Hospital, Swiss Cottage, London, on November 21, last year, after successful surgeries that allegedly had to do with his respiratory organ.
He, however, returned to the hospital from a private apartment on January 11, this year as an out-patient for check-up.
Further details of his ailments could not be disclosed as experts attending to him said that doing so would “breach data protection law” as it applies in the United Kingdom (UK) which the governor is entitled to.
The source however disclosed that he would need further examination and monitoring to ascertain his level of response to treatment.
Although he had hurried out of the state following an alleged illness, officials of his administration had always denied the reports, explaining that the governor is “hale and hearty”, and only left to enjoy his “accumulated leave”.
They insisted that Chime, who came to power in 2007 had not gone on leave since then and had decided to observe one, having worked hard to improve the fortunes of the state.
Chuks Ugwuoke, Commissioner of Information, said that the governor as required of the constitution handed over the running of the state to his Deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi, in acting capacity, while his leave lasted.
He further claimed that Chime also transmitted a letter to the state Assembly about his leave, as well as informing the lawmakers that his deputy would act in his place while he was away. He never spoke about the duration of the leave.
However, initial reports from the House of Assembly had put the duration of the leave at six weeks. Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh, claimed that the said letter from the governor informing it of his leave and its duration was read on the floor of the legislature. He has however refused to display a copy of the letter.