Is Hospitalized Football Legend, Christian Chukwu Destitute? Enugu State Governor Responds

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The Oasis Reporters

April 10, 2019

Chairman Christian Chukwu

In light of the fact that an unnamed associate of football legend, “Chairman” Christian Chukwu resident in the US had mooted that there’s a possible neglect and abandonment of the one time celebrated Super Eagles football captain, billionaire businessman Femi Otedola on Monday has volunteered to foot Chukwu’s medical bills.

A patron of Chukwu’s former club, Enugu Rangers FC, Benson Ezeomeogo Ejindu, broke the news of the ailment at the weekend.

Chukwu is said to be suffering from prostate cancer which has affected his leg and $50,000 is needed for the full treatment to save his life.

Media Officer, Enugu Rangers, Norbert Okonkwo, had earlier said that the Enugu State Government donated N1.5 million for the leg surgery.

According to a Cable report, a GoFundMe appeal has also in the first two days of running raised $4,305 of the $50,000 needed for further treatment.

TheCable reported that Otedola has offered to foot the entire cost of the operation as a “token of support to a great Nigerian who served his country to the best of his ability”.

The ex-Nigerian international during his hay days captained the senior national team, the Super Eagles (then known as Green Eagles) that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980.

He was nicknamed ‘Chairman’ for his authority on the field as a central defender.

The Gofundme campaign has led to a rebuttal from the Enugu State government that issued a statement that reads :

Here is the truth about Enugu State Government’s commitment to Christian Chukwu’s health challenges, and signed by Ogbuagu Anikwe, Commissioner for Information.

Press Release
CHRISTIAN CHUKWU IS NOT A DESTITUTE OLD MAN

The Enugu State Government has so far been restrained in its reaction to the spate of misinformation and outright lies promoted by a friend of the iconic Enugu Rangers player, Mr. Christian Chukwu who is ill and has been hospitalised. This restraint is out of respect to the wishes of both the Chukwu family and the request of his doctors who wanted a space to quietly deal with the emergency situation that brought Chukwu to hospital on a stretcher.

Today, however, Chairman Chukwu is walking with a stick and has granted interviews to the BBC and a couple of local media. It is on the strength of this that the Enugu State Government is now putting out the following information and clarifications to explain what is happening to Christian Chukwu and how it is being taken care of:

1. Christian Chukwu, popularly called “Chairman” in his playing days, is NOT a destitute old man abandoned to his fate in the face of an emergency health situation. He is currently the Director of Sports in the Rangers Management Corporation, a public service job that enables him to meet his basic health needs.

2. In the circumstance, Christian Chukwu is an employee of the Enugu State Government. This was one of the strategies that Rt. Hon. Dr. Ugwuanyi, the Governor of Chukwu’s home state of Enugu, designed to take care of sportsmen who had served the State or the nation in their youth.

3. When Chukwu’s health situation was brought to the attention of his employer – Rangers Management Corporation – he was rushed to one of the best medical facilities in Enugu where a team of five (5) specialists have been attending to him.

4. The management of Rangers Management Corporation immediately deposited N200,000 with this health facility to begin his treatment.

5. On hearing about his health condition, Gov. Ugwuanyi gave an additional N1.5million to the Commissioner for Youth and Sports to give to the family — in order to ensure that the football legend did not lack anything that the team of specialists may require to manage his condition.

6. The Governor has also given an additional N1million to the family when the doctors demanded for a further deposit, bringing the total amount disbursed by Gov. Ugwuanyi and the Rangers Management to the Chukwu family to N2.7million.

7. The total bill submitted to date by the hospital for Chukwu’s treatment is N2.7million.

8. To date, the doctors taking care of Chukwu have NOT released a medical report of his health condition to anyone, not even to the state government that has been picking up his bills. It is therefore curious how anyone without this information could have determined that (a) Christian Chukwu needs oversea medical care, and (b) the cost of this oversea care.

9. This point needs restating: the medical director of the Hospital is also as surprised as we are that someone in the USA who is not privy to a medical report on Chairman Chukwu’s condition can determine that (a) Chukwu needs a treatment abroad (b) the cost of such treatment, and (c) even without Chukwu or any member of his family asking for a second medical opinion or for treatment abroad.

10. Our intervention on this matter has become necessary to clear the air on the spate of misinformation, disinformation and outright mischief that otherwise well-intentioned commentators have continued to dish out, based on the misguided efforts of a friend of the football legend who is giving a false impression that Chukwu is a destitute old man, perhaps in a bid to whip up public sympathy that enables him meet his goal of raising money to help his friend.

11. The Enugu State government notes that the negative stories surrounding Chukwu’s condition originated from the desperation of his friend in the US who is falsely claiming in his appeal fund drive message that Chukwu has been “abandoned.”

12. Finally, if at any time the hospital doctors or the Chukwu family indicate that oversea treatment is required, the Enugu State Government will be notified and will respond appropriately.

Ogbuagu Anikwe

Hon. Commissioner for Information
Enugu State

Tues 9 April 2019

Enugu State is truly in the hands of God!

Additional reporting : Daily Sports

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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