Abuja hospital threatens to discharge ailing ex-Eagles player, Obiakor, over unpaid bills

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• Colleagues storm Arthur Eze’s home, seek Obiano, Ubah’s help for Igweonwu, others
Abuja-based Heartland Cardiological Centre has threatened to throw out former goalkeeper of the Super Eagles, Paul Obiakor, following his inability to foot his bills. OBiakor was in goal when Christ the King College, Onitsha, Anambra State, won the World Schools Championship in Dublin in 1977. Obiakor has been bed-ridden for over six months for a heart-related ailment.

Obiakor, who played for the seven-time Nigerian Professional League (NPFL) champions, Enugu Rangers, was expected to undergo surgery last Monday, but he could not raise the money he was charged. His hope of getting financial help, it was gathered, is being dogged by bureaucracy.

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The Guardian learnt that letters by his son, Paul Emelie, to governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano and the state’s association Chairman, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, have not yielded results.

When contacted, the Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Mr. Tony Oli, told The Guardian that the letter of financial assistance to the tune of N10 million the Obiakor family addressed to the governor and copied to him was yet to come to his table.

Obiakor was diagnosed of heart enlargement that weakens the function of the heart and which requires CRTD, a supportive apparatus to be inserted into the heart to aid it to function normally. The ailing ex-Rangers star is required to procure the CRTB, which costs about N5 million, in addition to other medical expenses running into millions of naira.

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When contacted on phone, Dr. Achilihu, a cardiologist with the hospital, was not forthcoming on the fate of the one-time Green Eagles goalie.

Obiakor’s colleagues, led by its Vice Chairman, Christian Isiadinso, have been visiting their ailing members to show solidarity in their trying times. A delegation of retired Flying Antelopes last week visited Kenneth Abana, and Chukwuma Igweonwu of the “Chukwuma-beat-am-o-it-is-a-goal-o!” fame, who is currently on admission at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka.

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In a bid to rally fund for the ailing ex-Rangers, Isiadinso led his former teammates, including Arthur Ebunam, Joe Anadobe, Ifeanyi Ezeji, and Ikechukwu Nwimoh to the country home of oil magnet and philanthropist, Prince Arthur Eze. The visit was, however, aborted because of the courtesy visit of the newly appointed Assistant Inspector General of Police to the businessman.

The desperation to survive, according to sources, forced Obiakor to secure the phone number of Governor Willie Obiano, to whom he recounted his ordeal, adding, “But no positive response has been received from the governor.”

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