Despite the reports that the much awaited Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, has returned to the country and the confirmation by his aides, Mr. Chime failed to show up at the Presidential Villa where he was expected to pay a courtesy call on the Vice President on Thursday.
State House correspondents waited for hours in anticipation of the visit which was not to be.
There were speculations that he was to visit the Villa at 10am but the time was shifted to 2pm. While normal activities and meetings in the Villa went on, the Enugu State governor was not seen anywhere near the State House.
The governor, who had been away from the country for over four months was reported to have returned to the country on Thursday.
The Enugu State Commissioner of Information, Chuks Ugwoke, confirmed the governor’s return to Channels TV but declined to reveal his whereabouts.
In a telephone interview with Channels TV, Mr. Ugwoke confirmed that the governor arrived in Abuja, Thursday morning aboard an early morning British Airways flight and went straight to the Enugu State Governor’s Lodge in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
However, a visit by Channels TV crew to the Governor’s lodge, which is situated in the Asokoro district, showed construction work was on-going in the premises and there is no activity to suggest that he is within the premises.
But the Governor’s failure to turn up at the Presidential Vila where he was eagerly awaited did not deter the day’s operations.
In one of the meetings, Vice President Namadi Sambo directed the Presidential Committee on Federal Government Intervention for Infrastructural Development of Peri-Federal Capital Territory (Peri-FCT) communities to fix a time frame for the development of the communities in the contiguous states.
He told the committee that the financial involvement of the federal government, the affected states and the local governments should be clearly stipulated, adding that time for the commencement and completion of the project should also be indicated in the recommendations.
Vice President Sambo noted that the idea of complimentary intervention of the Peri-FCT communities is not to build new towns but to develop the ghettos in the boundary communities to the FCT, urging the committee not to go beyond the communities surrounding the FCT.
In his presentation, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, noted that “a combination of factors particularly those associated with uncontrolled human population influx have created development challenges in the Peri-FCT communities of Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi States resulting in severe infrastructure gaps”.
He said the situation led the contiguous states and the FCT to appeal to the Federal Government for special intervention towards providing some relief for the affected communities.