In an apparent attempt to hoodwink the people of the state on the true state of health of Governor Sullivan Chime, the Enugu State government sent out a photograph of him and three other state governors, purportedly taken in London yesterday.
However, icirnigeria.org can authoritatively reports that contrary to the impression given, none of the three other state governors in the picture has visited him in hospital or been anywhere near London – either yesterday, today or, in fact, in the last week or so.
The picture which has been circulating on social media and in newsrooms across the country for most of Tuesday has Chime flanked by Godswill Akpabio, governor of Akwa Ibom, Gabriel Suswam of Benue State and Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State all posing for the shot.
The picture was released apparently to put a lie to reports that Chime is sick and in critical condition in a hospital abroad.
In the background of the photograph can be seen a spread of snow on roof tops and atop cars packed by the road side. All the state helmsmen are wearing winter clothes in the picture.
A lady whose name was given as Enoruo, one of Chime’s media assistants, has been fingered as the source of the photograph. Enoruo before now has sent press releases and briefs to journalists on events in Enugu State, particularly on the state governor.
She sent the photograph to some journalists today with a caption indicating that it was taken yesterday, Monday, January 21.
However, our reporter found that none of the other governors was in London at the time the photograph was purportedly taken. Aides of all three of them also denied that their principal has paid a visit to their ailing colleague in any hospital anywhere in the world.
Aides of Amechi said that he has been in the United States for a while and would by now be on his way to South Africa where the African Nations Cup, AFCON, is holding. Amechi, his aides said, is the leader of the Nigerian delegation to the soccer tournament.
Also, we confirmed that governor Akpabio is in Nigeria. He was in Uyo yesterday when the photograph was purportedly taken and is expected to be in Lagos as at the time this report goes to press.
An aide to Suswam, Francis Agbo, also denied that the Benue State governor was in London yesterday or even recently. According to him, although Suswam just returned from a two – week vacation, it was spent in Abuja and Dubai. The governor had been in Makurdi until today when he came into Abuja preparatory to a trip to Bayelsa tomorrow, Agbo said.
Concerns have been expressed about Chime’s health as he has been away on medical treatment since September last year. While the Enugu state government has repeatedly denied that he is seriously ill, he is believe now to be in a London Hospital receiving treatment for a heart or brain condition.
Before stories surfaced about Chime ‘s treatment in London, it had been reported that he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
However, about a week ago a civil society group, Save Enugu Group, SEG, disclosed that Chime was receiving treatment in a London hospital. Maxi Okwu, who spoke for the group, accused the Enugu State government of lying to the people of the state about the governor’s true health condition, adding that he was lying ill at the Wellington Humane Hospital Swiss Cottage, London.
The group demanded an apology from the government for feeding the public with false information while also asking for a broadcast to appraise the people of the state of the truth about the governor’s health.
The release of the picture is suspected to be the beginning of a media campaign to sustain the lie that Chime is well and that there is no cause for alarm, A national daily has published the photograph of the four governors purportedly taken yesterday and claims to have spoken exclusively to Chime in London, promising to provide details later. Source:icirnigeria