Chime attended 17 events in five years – Investigation

A content analysis of newspapers reports of Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime’s programmes and activities since he became governor on May 29, 2007, on Tuesday showed that he had attended only 17 events out of a possible 111 physically.

Our correspondent and statisticians in Enugu State, who had shown concern for the governor’s failing health, especially since he had been on a hospital bed in India for more than three months, coded the data findings.

The data showed that commissioners in the state had always represented Chime on occasions, and Chime had always come “very late” to the few events he attended.

It is on record though, that the Enugu State governor attended every of his electioneering rallies and campaigns in 2007 and 2011.

He, however, collapsed in March 2011 during a campaign rally in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.

“Before collapsing in Nsukka in 2011, he had relapsed twice in Enugu, in 2008 and in 2009,” said a protocol officer at the Enugu State Government House.”

The protocol officer, who sought protection of his identity, said, “Most people have always blamed the governor’s absence from events on other things. The true situation is that the medical team has to be very sure that the governor is medically sound before he goes out for an event.

“The medical team had been embarassed several times when the governor kept falling at events and the protocol, security and aides had to block him so that many people would not notice.”

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke, despite reports in the media that the governor is recuperating in an India hospital after being transferred from a London Hospital, has continued to claim that all was well with Chime.

Ugwoke had refused to speak to The PUNCH and would not reply any text message from our correspondent.

When the story of Chime’s ill health and absence from the state first broke in the October 14, 2012 edition of the Sunday PUNCH, Ugwoke had said, “Chime was enjoying his vacation, the first he has taken since he was sworn into office five years ago.

“Chime had actually presided over the State Executive Council meeting on September 18, 2012 where he announced to all the members that he was proceeding on his annual leave and constitutionally handed over the reins of power to his deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi, who is today the Acting Governor of the state.”

The commissioner had further pointed out that, “Chime also attended a meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum in Abuja on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 and travelled out the next day on his vacation,” adding that, “all these facts are verifiable.”

He had added, “Having said all these, we want to reaffirm that the Government of His Excellency, Sullivan Chime, will continue to promote freedom of expression while also maintaining its cherished reputation of civility and accommodation of all shades of opinion, including constructive criticisms from the media and other quarters.”