by Stanley Azuakola
While the wheels of propaganda were whirring in Enugu insisting that Sullivan Chime, the governor of Enugu had only gone abroad on vacation, the man himself was in London receiving treatment for cancer. Chime’s information commissioner and his chief of staff took it upon themselves to lash out at anyone who dared insinuate that the governor was anything but perfectly fit and for 140 days that was the official line.
But today in Enugu during an interview with journalists at the Government House, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State admitted that he was ill. He said that doctors discovered a malignant tumor in his nose, so he had to find a way to get it removed.
“In August last year, I was privileged to be one of those nominated by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to go to Germany to study their federalism, I was to represent the South-East zone; I had to use the opportunity of the trip to pass through London to do my medicals since it was the only opportunity I had to do that.
“After my medicals, I was certified fit by the doctors, but I noticed that I had a little growth beneath my jaw. Ordinarily, nobody could see it but I felt it seriously and asked the doctors to do further investigation on it,” the governor said.
Following the further tests, the doctors revealed that the growth was cancerous. The good news for the governor was that it was curable if treatment started immediately. The governor wisely decided to get treatment immediately and that was the beginning of his 140-day absence.
He disclosed that there were some people who knew about his condition.
“The people that ought to know about my predicament actually knew,” he said.
The inference from his statement is that Enugu people did not deserve to know about the health condition of the governor they elected.
“Let me make it clear to you that there is hardly any public official that travels out on vacation only to go and rest. Most of them go out to attend to health challenges. I didn’t travel sick, it was a tumor, I wasn’t grounded. I decided to nip it in the bud,” he said.
As regards the state of affairs in the state, Chime said that he was constantly informed of happenings in Enugu.
“Everything kept on moving as if I was around. Nobody talked about strike over non-payment of salaries, no contractor complained that he was not paid. We even had increased activities in my absence; I can beat my chest that the Deputy Governor who led the team indeed ensured that the system worked in my absence,
“I was asked to stay away from office for six months but by late January when we went to review my state, they were shocked with my recovery rate which showed that the tumour had gone. I was almost declared cancer free. I will be required to be going there from time to time, but I can assure you that they succeeded in curing the disease,” he said.