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“I Suffered from Cancer of the Nose” Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime Reveals the Reason behind his Prolonged Absence



The Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime has finally opened up on the reason why he was away from his duties for almost four months.

While he was away, there was speculation that he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment in a London hospital. The governor admitted that he was ill, and that after he found that he had cancer of the nose, he had to find a way to get it treated.

His admission has portrayed a number of government officials in Enugu State as “peddlers of falsehood“. This is because while Governor Chime was away, they had continuously denied that his absence was due to medical reasons.

Chime revealed to the News Agency of Nigeria the events that led to his diagnosis and treatment:

“In August last year, I was privileged to be one of those nominated by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to go to Germany to study their federalism, I was to represent the South East zone; I had to use the opportunity of the trip to pass through London to do my medicals since it was the only opportunity I had to do that. After my medicals, I was certified fit by the doctors, but I noticed that I had a little growth beneath my jaw. Ordinarily, nobody could see it but I felt it seriously and asked the doctors to further investigate on it.

“I was later referred to a GP who after examining me said there was nothing wrong with me. I still asked for further investigation. I even made arrangement with them to help me set appointment for closer investigation. I left for Germany and had to still return to London to keep the appointment for proper screening of the growth. It was after the screening that it was discovered that the growth in question was cancerous. It was also discovered that the main tumour was behind my nose; it was simply called cancer of the nose.

“Cancer is such thing that when you hear it, the person involved will even declare himself dead instantly. I was subjected to further scanning at the nose and neck and was told that it was curable, not manageable. When I asked how to go about it, I was told it has to be as early as possible before it spreads to other areas. Accordingly, I arranged for it to be done. I had to cancel further trips and agreed to be back to London in two weeks. Within the period, I came back to Nigeria and made arrangement for transmission. I wrote a letter to the speaker, informing him of my decision to proceed on leave and sought his cooperation to work with my deputy who will act as governor. We even held two executive council meetings within the period where I informed members of my exco that I was proceeding on a long vacation.

“I left for Abuja the next day and attended the Governors’ Forum meeting and the next day I left for London, settled in and saw the oncologist the next day. By Monday, I commenced treatment. Cancer is a deadly disease and the cure is also deadly. It’s not like Panadol, not drugs we buy off the counter. You go through different stages. The treatment altogether lasted for 12 weeks and throughout the treatment, I was an out-patient. I was never admitted in any hospital in London. During the period of the treatment, I had challenges and these are challenges I will not even wish my enemy to go through; it’s not easy to imagine.

“The treatment ended on December 14 and the period of recovery commenced. I was asked to stay away from office for six months but by late January when we went to review my state, they were shocked with my recovery rate which showed that the tumour had gone. I was almost declared cancer free. I will be required to be going there from time to time, but I can assure you that they succeeded in curing the disease.”

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. lulu

    February 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Maybe this will make you know to build a good hospital in the state u govern. use nigeria’s money wisely, if not this just the begining, cancer all over ur body and london will not be able to save u. rememeber a certain Yardua

    • Jayla

      February 13, 2013 at 7:20 am

      Tell them! I pray he gets well but seriously,… when will these politicians start investing in our healthcare system?

      My grandma in the village up North had breast cancer and could only get a mastectomy in Jos (done by an American doctor imagine?) Lucky the family could afford to come together and contribute for her treatment and chemo in India. She’s cancer free now, praise God.

      What about all the other village old women with no access to screening facilities or ‘children in the city’ to pay for their treatment abroad?

  2. Anonymous

    February 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Thank God for your recovery but cancer, horrible as it may be is still no reason to abandon your duty post without properly handing over to your deputy to act in your stead as the constitution dictates. The height of irresponsibility yet again displayed by one of our self-absorbed, power drunken leaders. Please inform your colleagues in Akwa Ibom State and Taraba to do the proper thing! Nigeria is bigger than any one individual. You went to London for treatment> One question, if the leaders in London had looted their treasury and diverted public funds for private gains as you and your friends do, would there be functioning hospitals for you to visit in times of crisis? Food for thought!

    • Maya

      February 13, 2013 at 1:14 am

      Did you really read this well?

  3. cynthia

    February 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Oga me speedy recovery n Gods complete healing.U r a great man n a good governor

  4. Meee

    February 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    You are healed ijn

  5. Miss stupor

    February 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Omg thank God for your life #Bless

  6. Naveah

    February 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Mr. Chime, thank you for finally revealing the reason for your absence. It is all good and well for you sir that you can afford to go overseas for your cancer treatment and of course we thank God for your safe return and recovery. HOWEVER, now that you have returned, how far with your people who cannot afford to travel abroad for treatment? Does a single hospital in your state have an oncologist on staff? Or any of the resources so readily available to you in another country, i.e. chemotherapy, radiation…heck, a soft, clean hospital bed and edible hospital food? And if not, do you plan to remedy that situation? Or are you going to thank God it isn’t you who can’t afford those benefits and keep it all business as usual? Furthermore, sir who paid for your trip and treatment? Did the funds come from the public coffers while your constituents can’t afford the same? And if the State paid for your treatment, how do you justify the cost? Because sir, I don’t believe the government is responsible for any officials hospital bills, when I get sick, my boss doesn’t pay for my hospital bills.

    BN Post Police, over to you to deliberate over posting or not posting my comments.

  7. Engy Anaedum

    February 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Glory be to God. I thank GOd for quick recovery,Mr Sullivan. May all forms of sickness and untimely death be far from you Amen. Take things easy though.

  8. mee

    February 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Your healing shall be permanent IJMN. Amen

  9. Itim .H. Philip

    February 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    All the best wishes of full recovery. Exemplary. No need to play hide and seek. You are human like all of us

  10. Noon

    February 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Thank God for his recovery. Cancer is a terrible thing

  11. Pele

    February 13, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Very rare cancer.thank God they diagnosed it early enough.

  12. steve smith mbadugha

    February 13, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Thank God for ur recovery my able governor.
    May the issue of cancer be mentioned in ur life no more.
    You handed over power and followed due process, there is nothing any sickness can d o to you.
    You should realise now that God has a purpose for keeping u alive, so, use this opportunity to amend any of ur faults and deliver goog governance to Enugu people.
    Long live gov Chime!

  13. Vic

    February 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Eee ya,,sorry o.Now Mrs Jonathan,this is what you still owe the nation,explain why you were out of the country for such a long time.No worries wind go still blow and we go soon see the fowl yansh

  14. Partyrider

    February 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Thank God he is better. I pray and hope the cancer is gone for good

  15. konnie

    February 13, 2013 at 2:12 am

    May god be with you. Amen

  16. Temi

    February 13, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I’m glad for his recovery, but Nigeria also needs good hospitals where cancer and other illnesses can be treated. What happens to people who are not in positions of privilege like him? They would just die after taking the “panadol” he referred to because they can’t afford to go abroad. It’s a shame considering the huge numbers of Nigerian doctors all over the world who have left their homeland for greener pastures due to the many negative issues affecting people living in Nigeria. No US governor would dare declare that he went out of the country for any kind of medical treatment even if he/she actually did because they know it sends the wrong message of their disloyalty to their country, but for Nigerians, it’s even very fashionable. Nigeria, we hail thee!

  17. Enugu Boy

    February 13, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Anonymous & Naveah,
    Please note that knowledgeable people welcome constructive criticism but reckless, rude and ignorant comments will always be challenged. Governor Chime handed over properly to his deputy, he is not irresponsible, self absorbed or power drunk. He is one of the most productive and focused governors in the country. Accusations of looting and diversion of public funds that cannot be substantiated is considered offensive.

    Our Governor is human and can be sick, so far he has done well and we pray for good health so that he can do more. We are realistic and do not expect him to solve in five years problems of non functioning hospitals that have been with us for fifty years. A Governor that works round the clock is entitled to medical treatment from state funds, and Chime as a successful lawyer from a prominent family in Enugu had the resources to pay his bills before he became Gove rnor.

    Please note that these comments are not sponsored but we must show respect and appreciation for good leadership where ever we find it without strings attached

  18. [email protected]

    February 13, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Thank God for the lives of those that hv commented so far, praying that his healing is permanent EXCEPT FOR NAVEAH,questioning how he can afford treatment abroad, why don’t you ask God why all the finger on ur hand are not equal…may ur tongue not lead u to more poverty..Is he the first and last governor of d state??not that i condone there not improving infrastructure,however he can’t be d one to automatically perfect things so therefore,gird ur tongue…Go read what proverbs teaches u on that!

  19. Baba T aka T Baba

    February 13, 2013 at 4:03 am

    Does he sniff nose tobacco?

  20. Sara Adebayo

    February 13, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Stay well Mr. Governor!!! Now lets think too how to build good and better hospitals for all nigerians.. THIS COUNTRY IS RICH IN OIL, PLEASE, USE THE MONEY WISELY; Nigeria should be leading by now..Endowed with OIL.. that the U.S and China need to keep their economy going…Why are so many people suffering in Nigeria, Mr. Governor you were close to DEATH…..IMAGINE NOW SOME NIGERIANS ARE EVERY DAY CLOSE TO DEATH.. BECAUSE OF POVERTY. THINK AGAIN, THINK TWICE AND THINK WISE…

  21. Hmm

    February 13, 2013 at 7:23 am

    “I had to use the opportunity of the trip to pass through London to do my medicals since it was the only opportunity I had to do that. ”

    See even the governor doesn’t do medicals in Nigeria. Instead of him trying to use that to make improvements in Enugu. I wonder why. Because our healthcare system is not good at all. God help us!

    I pray he his well and uses this experience to get make huge changes in his state.

  22. williams

    February 13, 2013 at 8:53 am

    i appreciate your honesty… a rare mark of good leadership in our times… what happened while you were away was not your making but that of those who where on ground…. nnoo action governor and remain in sound health.

  23. Pepper

    February 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

    God bless you Enugu boy. People that speak ill of the governor, either do not know him or haven’t been to Enugu state. I can easily say he is the best south east governor. Anambra is a mess, Abia is a lie, Imo,? Oh well thank God for the free education.. Gov. Chime, God will not allow good men like you to die. There’ are few of you left in this country. May your healing be permanent.

  24. okolie jude

    February 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

    thank God u are back. May the Almighty God who had healed you sustain you and your good work and dreams for Enugu state

  25. Show some love

    February 13, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I thank GOD for your life Governor Chime. The LORD who has started this good work in you will be faithful to complete it. You are completely healed in Jesus Name Amen.
    Governor Chime, just imagine if you were not privileged to have the funds to travel for your medicals and also get treatment for cancer. We would be telling a different story today. But God spared you fro a reason. I pray you would see this as an opportunity to help the millions of Nigerians who cant afford to travel abroad for healthcare. I pray through this experience you would be driven to do something about Healthcare not just in your State but in your country. Just imagine if there was an emergency and you couldn’t travel out. Please do something about our Healthcare system

  26. nnenne

    February 13, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Thank God for his healing mercies on your life.

  27. isaid!!

    February 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Thank God almighty for healing you. May your healing be permanent IJN. Amen . Now that you are back home, sir, please could you see to building one good hospital just for cancer screening and treatment in Enugu state. No matter how expensive the project might be, i am sure state funds can take care of that. It would benefit everybody . The state would even make money in the process as there are no good hospitals available .Thank you.

  28. Akpeno

    February 13, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Cancer of the nose indeed!

  29. Naveah

    February 14, 2013 at 2:42 am

    @ Enugu Boy & – I would go into further discourse with both of you but you don’t argue from the position of people who can separate your emotion and BLIND DEVOTION from fact so it would be a waste of my time and yours.

    @ – here are a few bible verses for you to dwell on and since you support the governor so much, please share it with him as well:

    Proverbs 21:13 – Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

    1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    1 John 3:17-18 – But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

    Proverbs 28:27 – He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

  30. Enugu Boy

    February 15, 2013 at 4:07 am

    The need to enlighten people like you on “facts” cannot be a waste of time. Governors are senior public officers and payment of their medical expenses anywhere is part of their conditions of service. You are well adviced to engage and pay a lawyer to negotiate better terms of employment for you and also to furnish you with the relevant laws pertaining to medical expenses for Governors.

    Chemotherapy and radiation treatment is available in Enugu and asking if there is an oncologist in the State sounds ridiculous. Hopefully you understand that where anybody seeks medical treatment is a matter of choice and affordability.

    If you write the Commissioner of Health in Enugu State, I believe he will inform you of the improvements they have made in medical services since the Governor took office. Please let us not play to the gallery with our “fact less” utterances in the electronic media.

    Lastly Neveah, my training, intellect and profession has no room for emotions but only “facts” when serious issues are at stake and am only devoted to the truth. May I reiterate that my comments do not have any strings attached.

  31. Naveah

    February 20, 2013 at 4:40 am

    @ Enugu Boy…yeah, Chemo and radiation is available as well as an oncologist but he chose to go abroad for treatment instead of living by example and 1. saving the state money by using the resources available at home 2. showing the people that they can have faith in the available services. Abeg, you my brother let’s stop this discussion because I suspect you and I will ever be at an impasse. You chose to believe what you want and I chose to NOT believe and guess what? It is okay:)

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