There was anxiety in Enugu State yesterday over the rumoured death of the state governor, Sullivan Chime, who allegedly is receiving treatment for cancer in a foreign hospital. There were widespread reports yesterday that the governor passed on in India on Wednesday.
The social media was awash with the report throughout yesterday. Even aides of the governor could not confirm the whereabouts of Chime as they kept mute on the death rumour.
Though normal activities went on in the state, but stakeholders were anxious about the governor’s health even as some dismissed the rumour, saying it was the handiwork of Chime’s political enemies. Some said they were unaware of the death rumour.
When our correspondent visited the Government House yesterday, it was observed that security was relaxed from the point of entrance unlike how it was when the governor was around.
The governor’s media aide shied away from making official statements on the ground that they cannot continue to react to the governor’s death rumour almost on daily basis.
But state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ozor Joe Mammel, who was furious upon inquiry about the rumour, said there was nothing to it as it was the work of his detractors. Mammel said the governor travelled to Abuja on Wednesday, noting however that to the best of his knowledge, Chime is alive.
He wondered what benefits those wishing him dead want to derive from such. He said if Governor Chime had died, it would be announced through the appropriate channel other than the social media which he said anybody could post whatever story to achieve personal ends.
Chime had earlier admitted that he is suffering from nasal cancer for which he had been treated in a London hospital for five months.
Chime was also recently reported to have gone for a three-day medical checkup last in London even though the state government denied that he travelled out of the state.
But after his return to Enugu a little over five months, precisely on February 8, 2013, the governor addressed a press conference some days later to explain that he was treated of nose cancer while away. The tension generated by his long absence was therefore subsided.
But there had been rumours of his travel again on account of his sickness, which his aides always dismissed.