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Enugu stands still for Governor Chime

Posted by From CHIDI NNADI, Enugu on 2008/02/12 | Views: 362 |

Enugu stands still for Governor Chime


The expansive Michael Okpara Square in Enugu State could not contain the mammoth crowd that had gathered in it last Friday to show their support and solidarity to Governor Sullivan Ihenacho Chime.

… We’re ready for fresh polls, says C.C Onoh, others

The expansive Michael Okpara Square in Enugu State could not contain the mammoth crowd that had gathered in it last Friday to show their support and solidarity to Governor Sullivan Ihenacho Chime.

An election tribunal sitting in Enugu had on January 18 nullified the election of Governor Chime, ordering for a fresh election within 90 days. But this did not go down well with the people of Enugu State who believe that Chime is God-sent. Thus even when the governor has the option for an appeal, the people were urging him to come straight for a fresh election where they hope to “nullify” the verdict of the tribunal in their own court.

The people did not hide this feeling as they started staging solidarity visits to the governor at the Government House, Enugu ; students, farmers, eminent persons, were pouring into the Government House.

This was to climax in a grand rally on Friday at the Michael Okpara Square codenamed: The Sullivan Chime Solidarity Rally.

The young, the old, the high, the low, all were at the square; they were united in one goal – to assure the governor of their unalloyed support and readiness to return him in the event of fresh polls in the state.
In a chat with Daily Sun, former governor of old Anambra State, Christian C. Onoh, who had earlier told Daily Sun that he would personally mobilize the people of the state for Chime in the event of a fresh election, said the time is now for the election, assuring that Chime is going to nowhere as the people are solidly behind him.

“You can see this large crowd of supporters of the Enugu State government, they demonstrate the support and solidarity behind the government.

“The election is as good as won and by what you see today, I think my prayers is for the Igwes, other dignitaries and the entire people of this state to rally round Sullivan Chime, let them advise all the other aspirants to step down so that he will go unopposed and in doing so we will demonstrate to the world that we are a Christian society,” Chief Onoh said.
The former governor who had criticized previous administrations in the state for non-performance said that Chime has proved to be an exception as he has performed creditable well under the eight months of his administration.

“Can’t you see the roads and other things he has done in eight months. I advised the governor a day before the judgment to mobilise for appeal, now I want their election tomorrow, next tomorrow, any day because my people and the people of Enugu State have demonstrated their support for him,” he said, believing firmly that the Enugu people would return Chime in the next polls.
Also speaking to Daily Sun exclusively, HRH, Igwe Jeremiah Onovo, chairman, Enugu State Traditional rulers Council, said the sea of people at the square was a clear demonstration that the people are behind Chime.

Hear him: “As you can see, the whole of Enugu State from the various parts of Nigeria even those in the Diaspora have gathered here today to give solidarity to the administration of Governor Sullivan chime.
“The stand is that the court has spoken, but in the event of the repeat of the election it will be the turn of the people of Enugu State to speak and Governor Chime will stand acquitted before the court of public opinion, he is our governor and he will continue to be.”

Igwe Onovo said that in the short period of Chime’s regime he has carried out programmes that are so far wonderful, saying that “he is a governor with a human face and his four-point agenda programme is for the interest of the communities.”

For the former Deputy Governor in Dr Chimaroke Nnamani government, Mr Okechukwu Itanyi, Chime is the man to take Enugu to the Promise Land .

He told Daily Sun that “We are here to show our support and solidarity to Governor Sullivan Chime and the government. We wish them well, we will encourage them. As far as I am concerned he is doing well and he needs all the supports and solidarity that we can give him as individuals and as a state.
Asked that he like Chime served under Nnamani who has now fallen apart with the former governor he said: “As far as I am concerned, it is not the issue of having been a deputy governor, it is the issue of being a citizen of Enugu State and in all good conscience I support any governor and any government that is doing well, what we need in Enugu State is to move our state forward, to empower our people, to alleviate poverty, to provide infrastructure and generally improve the welfare of our people.

And as far as Governor Chime is doing that and his government is doing that I will give them my support and I appeal to the people of Enugu State to give him and his government their total support.”
The support for Chime also has a divine angle as the Anglican Bishop of Enugu , Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, told Daily Sun at the rally ground that he had already given his blessings to Chime when Chimaroke presented him to him and would not withdraw that support.

“We are here to give our support and to let people know that the present governor has our mandate because when the election was about to start he was brought to me by his predecessor to accept him and to bless him and I gave my blessing. And on his first working day of the year I was in the Government House to pray for him and he is doing well.

“In the time of Jim Nwobodo, he brought Chimaroke out and said, this is the man, we voted and the man came in and I supported him to maintain peace in Enugu State . And Chimaroke brought Sullivan and I prayed for him, so I will support him to make sure peace reigns in Enugu State .
“I think mine is that whoever is in government must be supported, prayed for and given every cooperation and that is why we are here. And I think that INEC and the appeal court should know that whatever may be the case Sullivan has the mandate of the people and he should be allowed to enjoy it, he is doing well and touching the lives of the people, this is my own stand.

“I am going to even do more for Sullivan, mine is that people in government should be prayed for and supported. I did that for Chimaroke and Chimaroke brought Sullivan to me, so it will be erroneous for me to be against Chime who was brought to me to pray for. I have a magazine here to show that and I am going to give my support, my personal support, my Christian support to Sullivan Chime as long as he continues to do good and fear God.”

Also erudite Professor Barth Nnaji was at the square to show solidarity to Chime. When Daily Sun asked him why he had come he retorted: “I am here to render my support to Governor Sullivan Chime and his government. It is quite obvious, we should say no tyranny, we should begin to look ourselves in the mirror and ask what are we seeing, how do we want to be as a people? And if we have someone who is beginning to show us that this place can be a better place for everybody, we should support him and we should do all we can to desist from all manner of things that can tear this state apart, this is a glorious state, this was the headquarters of the Eastern region, we have to continue to remember that, this was where everybody used to rally round, this is where every Igboman calls the centre, so we have to do all we can to support anybody who sees the light to make this place better and Sullivan Chime is that kind of person.”

So, I am here to render my support fully for him.
Looking at the decision of the tribunal that nullified the governor’s election he said: “I am not a lawyer, the court is not the issue for me, it is more about the individual and progress, that’s what I am here for, let the judicial thing take its course, but in the final analysis I feel whether the court upholds what the panel has proffered I will still support Sullivan Chime, that is the bottom line. Look at this place, it is incredible on what we are seeing here today, it is genuine and it is coming from the bottom of the heart of the people of this state.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.