By Bayode Sipasi
Former Green Eagles captain, Christian Chukwu, has expressed sadness over the controversy created over his ill-health.
Speaking from his hospital bed in Enugu, the former coach of the Super Eagles, thanked Nigerians for their concern over his health and declared that he had not been abandoned by the government.
“I sincerely thank Nigerians for their concern on my health. By the grace of God I’ll be back on my feet. It, however, feels bad that people have created controversy over my health.
“It doesn’t feel good. I have not been abandoned. The Enugu State Government has been helpful and I appreciate them.
“ My friend, Benson Ejindu who lives in USA and who is patron of Ex Rangers players has been tremendous too. He directed that I be brought to this hospital where I am now.
“He contacted them and moved me to this place. I did not tell anybody that I have been abandoned. Ejindu did not also tell anybody that Enugu State Government has abandoned me. Nobody has said that. So, I don’t know where this controversy is coming from.” Chukwu told a section of the media on telephone.
Three days ago, Enugu State Commissioner of Information, Ogbuagu Anikwe issued the statement declaring that Chukwu was 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.
“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. 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.“
Chukwu was yet to see the full text of this statement as at yesterday but when briefed he sounded sad about the controversy people have created following his condition.
“Ejindu is the biggest patron of Rangers. He made it possible for me to be in this hospital. He comes with a clean mind to help and this controversy is not necessary. The commissioner and the state government have shown tremendous concern.
“The governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has been wonderful and Ejindu has been of great help, so why all these? My prayer is for all to be well and I can’t thank Nigerians enough for their concern,” he said.