The continuing absence of Enugu state governor Sullivan Chime leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but it is not for the reasons you might think.
I am from Enugu state and the present state of affairs falls, as they say, on my doorsteps. It is unprecedented in Enugu history for a governor to—if we are to believe the official statement—be on accumulated leave for this long. Despite all the political and constitutional rules this lengthy absence is said to be breaching, I do not intend to dwell on what laws has been broken or how that will impact the polity. Rather, I want to dwell on how much the man’s tenure has affected my community and what his absence means to my constituency and me.
I am from the hills of Anike. My ancestral home is the hilltop town of Nkwe: one of those places that development seems to ignore perpetually, until recently that is. This lack of development may, or may not, have something to do with the fact that aside from meagre cassava, vegetable and palm produce that our women take to the markets in Awgu—where our LGA headquarters is situated—and neighbouring towns, we appear, on the surface, to largely lack much to offer in terms of commerce. This argument, that we don’t contribute much to the state to warrant attention, was used to justify the lack of government presence in the villages that make up Anike for decades by successive governments.