At the town hall meeting in Enugu on Tuesday 29th of January 2013, which was part of the Good Governance tour train led by the Federal Minister of Information Mr. Labaran Maku activities, the state Acting Governor Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi was reported to have answered as follows: That Governor Chime actually handed over to him through a letter to the state House of Assembly. To quote him “If I was given a limit to approve only N500000, how will our workers get their salaries? How will the contractors who are still working be paid? Enugu has no problem with governance.”
We have to take his word on it as he is an honourable man unless hard evidence to the contrary is available, and urge him to govern well. This in our humble opinion has buried the popular bogey that a cabal known as and called G-5 has been running the affairs of Enugu state with him merely a ceremonial acting governor. That to us rests the issue for now.
It may be recalled that we had made it an issue with the Speaker of the State House of Assembly to make public the letter from Governor Chime to him pursuant to section 190 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), before he disappeared on 19th September 2012, or show evidence of having tabled the letter on the floor of the State house of Assembly. To also further show that he formally communicated with the Deputy Governor by forwarding the said letter to him so as to empower him to immediately assume the full functions of a Governor.
The Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly has since engaged in inanities by either dodging the question or raising a legal howler that he would not oblige a non registered association. We had expected he would seek proper legal counsel notwithstanding that he is a lawyer, to know that we have a fundamental right established by the Constitution to freely associate under section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
At this stage of the campaign launched by SEG on 7th January 2013 we wish to take stock. We are satisfied that in just three weeks of scorching inquiry we have achieved approximately 90% of our objectives under Phase 1.
- The issue of the whereabouts and status of Governor Chime has been essentially settled. From the ENSG spin that he is on holiday enjoying his accumulated leave, it is now publicly known and tacitly conceded by ENSG that he is convalescing in London.
- All the rumours and speculation have now been laid to rest and various groups are now praying for his full recovery. The ENSG has not acted on our advice to facilitate seven days of prayers and fasting for his recovery. They also have not officially explained to the people of the state what the true situation of the Governor is, nor apologized for all the lies and falsehood.
- ENSG also refused to constitute a delegation of eminent sons and daughters of the state as we suggested to visit the ailing Governor, rather in utter contempt of the people of Enugu state and Igboland, they came up with a questionable picture of Governor Chime with some Governors from the South South and North Central. We are however reliably informed that certain federal legislators from our state have perfected plans to visit with our Governor in London.
- We join in the various private initiatives on prayer intercessions and urge all men and women of goodwill to pray fervently for ailing Governor Chime.
All these would not have been possible had SEG not intervened and brought these matters into the public domain with robust and aggressive advocacy.
It is not over until it’s over, but SEG would now launch Phase II of its pro-democracy agenda in Enugu state.