Chukwu not a destitute abandoned to his fate, says Enugu government
A new twist was brought into the Christian Chukwu health saga yesterday when the Enugu State government accused those seeking for financial help for former Super Eagles coach of trying to paint the state in a bad light. The state government, which said it had been on top of Chukwu’s case from day one, warned those canvassing for financial support for Chukwu to desist from doing so.
A statement by Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Ogbuagu Anikwe, reads: “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.”
Chukwu, who led the then Green Eagles to win the African Nations Cup in 1980, has been down with an undisclosed ailment with reports in some quarters that he needs at least a $50,000 treatment to get back to his feet. Some Nigerian politicians and businessmen, including Ned Nwoko and Femi Otedola had reportedly offered financial assistance to aid Chukwu’s treatment abroad.
However, Enugu State government noted that the negative stories surrounding Chukwu’s condition originated from the desperation of his friend in the U.S, who is ‘falsely’ claiming in his appeal fund message that Chukwu has been “abandoned.”“If at any time the hospital doctors or the Chukwu family indicate that overseas treatment is required, the Enugu State Government will be notified and will respond appropriately,” he stated.
Among other things, Anikwe said: “Chukwu 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.
“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.
“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 specialists have been attending to him.
“The management of Rangers immediately deposited N200, 000 with this health facility to begin his treatment. 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. 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.”