Uneasy calm has engulfed Enugu State following the disappearance of Governor Sullivan Chime from the public for more that 100 days.
A scene reminiscent of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua’s days played up in the South Eastern State with the elite frequently asking the question, “where is His Excellency our Governor”.
Gov. Chime was said to have taken his accumulated leave and had handed over to his deputy, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, who is now an acting governor. But concerned citizens in the state are insisting that Gov. Chime could not have had the constitutional powers to remain on holidays for more than 100 days at a stretch.
The row over the governor’s whereabouts sparked off due to conflicting statements about his state of health. While it was rumoured that the governor was dead, the Commissioner of Information, Mr Chuks Ugwoke, issued a statement that Gov. Chime was enjoying his holiday and would be shortly back.
Meanwhile, a group known as “Save Enugu Group” has issued the acting governor a two-week ultimatum to categorically explain the whereabouts and status of the governor.
The group called on the acting governor to constitute a delegation of eminent persons such as the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Bishop Callistus Onaga, Rev. Hyde Onuaguluchi, Prof. Barth Nnaji and other indigenes of the to visit Gov. Chime and report back to the people of the state.
The group described the “thriving mill of idle gossips” and speculations as “a most untidy state of affairs”. Although it acknowledged that the governor had done well for the people, the group posited that his “unreasonable absence from office is suggestive of permanent inability to perform the functions of his office”.
However, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Chukwudi Achife, swiftly reacted, calling on the people to ignore the group, stating that it “mischievously leaked to press a letter meant for His Excellency, the Acting Governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi”.
“Government does not intend to join issues with these habitual attention-seekers,” the Press Secretary’s statement read.