Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State yesterday gave an assurance to Nigerians that ailing Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, who has been hospitalised in London since September 2012, would return to the country in the next two weeks.
This is coming at a time Akpabio has promised to make public any activity of the Governors Forum, which negates the principles setting it up, even as he insisted that the forum would continue to work in harmony with the Federal Government. Akpabio visited Chime in a London hospital, in the company of Governors Gabriel Suswam and Chibuike Amaechi of Benue and Rivers states respectively. Speaking with airport correspondents on arrival from London, U
nited Kingdom at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Akpabio, who visited Chime in London hospital recently, declared that the ailing governor was now hale and hearty and capable of ruling the state upon his arrival. Akpabio admonished Nigerians to always trust their representatives and warned against playing politics with people’s health.
His words: “I was part of the delegation that visited the governor in London and I brought a message of goodwill to His Excellency, the governor of Enugu State and like I said, we must learn to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. We should not play politics out of people’s health. “For me, I’m very grateful to God that Governor Chime has recovered fully and he would be assuming duties within the next 10 days
. It’s not something that any Nigerian should be sad about; rather, we should be happy and we should pray that he’s returning to the country within 10 days from today and he would be in the Government House in Enugu on his seat as the governor of the state. I can confirm that because I had interactions with him and he’s in good health and he’s recovering. Once the doctors give him the go ahead, he will be in the office. You can quote me.”
Speaking on the allegation that the Governors’ Forum was gradually becoming a cartel and working against the Federal Government and the Nigerian people, Akpabio, denied such claims, vowing that he would not be a party to any association or forum that would attempt to bring down President Goodluck Jonathan and his team, even as he described such allegation as baseless. He insisted that the Governors’ Forum should actually be a major collaborator with the Federal Government, maintaining that they are part and parcel of government, which should work together to uplift the living conditions of Nigerians. He said: “I will not be a party to anything that will attempt to pull down the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and that I’m assuring you.
The allegation they are making is news to my ears. I’ve not been around the country for a while and I don’t know what is going on. Definitely, when I get in, I will observe things and if I should find out that the Governors’ Forum is what they are saying, you will hear me., I will shout out. “For now, I want to reassure Nigerians that the Governors’ Forum means well for the country; majority of us are behind Mr. President and we are determined to work together collectively so that we have one monopolistic democracy in Nigeria, the government that can deliver the dividends for the good of Nigeria. I think that is all that matters.
There is no room for any acrimony. I will not be a party to any divisive tendency that will tend to turn the forum into a kind of a trade union. I will not support that.”