ACN condemns poor handling of Gov. Chime’s illness, slams NGF



The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the poor handling of the reported illness of

Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu state, saying it fits into the growing pattern of shrouding the health problems

of elected officials in secrecy, and again calls attention to the need to do things properly to advance the

nation’s democracy rather than personal interests.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Ahaji Lai Mohammed, the

party also criticized the choreographed visit to Gov. Chime in London by a delegation of the Nigerian

Governors Forum (NGF), which was apparently designed to reinforce the line being peddled by Gov. Chime’s

supporters rather than keep the people of the state better informed of the true situation of things.

It said there is no doubt that the reason behind all the shenanigans is the desperation by public office holders

to hold on to power at all costs, even when it is clear that their health has failed to such a level that they are

better off stepping down so they can attend to their health problems.

”We do not have details of what is wrong with Gov. Chime and honestly that is not the reason behind our

intervention. Our concern is that the conspiracy of silence being perpetrated by the state governors who are

reported to have taken ill and abandoned their duty posts, as well as their supporters especially the NGF,

does not serve the interest of our democracy.

”In the case of Gov. Chime, how can a man who is purportedly on vacation disappear for over 135 days and the

people who voted him into office are not expected to ask questions? Does the constitution provide for such a long

‘vacation’ without consequences? Is Gov. Chime’s deputy, whom he reportedly handed over to, given enough latitude

to adequately preside over the affairs of the state. If not, how has this affected governance in the state? And to what

extent have the people of the state been denied the dividends of democracy by this unnecessary controversy?

”These are the issues that should be of interest to all lovers of democracy, not the antics of some Governors who

are frittering away taxpayers money by gallivanting to London to see Gov. Chime and thereafter releasing a picture

showing a ‘hale and hearty’ Gov. Chime, dressed-up like a Soviet-era spook, which has now generated even more


”The governors said Chime is recovering well but did not say from what illness. They say he is in good shape but has

not said why he has been away from his duty post for so long. If he is so hale and hearty as they claim, let him come

home and end the endless controversy over his illness. In any case, who made the governors the spokespersons for the

people of Enugu state? Are they the ones who voted him into office? Do they really care how this whole controversy has

affected governance in Enugu state? Is this the way democracy is run in other climes?” ACN queried.

The party said since any human being can take ill anytime, no one, especially public office holders, should be ashamed to

admit his or her illness through a full disclosure and, if necessary, cede full power to those constitutionally empowered to

take over.

”Nigeria and its democracy have yet to recover from the secrecy thrown around the illness of late President Umaru

Yar’Adua and the anti-democratic antics of his ‘kitchen cabinet’. It is time we stopped this practice that only serves the

purpose of those who are hell bent on clinging to power, not considering the interest of the people who voted them into

office,” it said.



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