Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, who has been out of the country since September, is being treated for cancer, investigations by THISDAY have revealed.
But following the intensive treatment the governor underwent in a London hospital, the cancer is said to be in remission, a source said Thursday.
Chime had left the country last September, ostensibly on a six-week vacation, and he had not been seen or heard of until Tuesday when a photograph of him and a delegation of the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF), which had visited him in London, was released to the press.
The delegation comprised the NGF Chairman and Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi; Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio and their counterpart from Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam.
Even though he handed over to his deputy Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi before he left, his prolonged absence and silence have led to rumours over his health and whereabouts.
Also, Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, who like his Enugu State counterpart departed the country under the guise that he was going on vacation, THISDAY learnt, is now stable following a surgical procedure performed on him at a United States hospital some weeks ago.
Contrary to speculations that Imoke too might have been battling cancer, THISDAY gathered last night that the governor had undergone renal surgery, which was successfully carried out on him.
Disclosing how Chime discovered he had cancer, the source said the governor during a medical check-up in London noticed a small growth around the left side of his neck and complained to his doctors who dismissed it and gave him a clean bill.
Chime then left London to join his colleagues who were then in Germany on an assignment but soon returned to London to complain again because he was not comfortable with the growth.
It was at that point, the source said, that his doctors decided to perform a biopsy, which revealed that the growth was cancerous.
The result, the source said, also discovered another cancerous growth around his nose and doctors immediately went to work, promising to be through within six weeks.
It later turned out that the initial six weeks was insufficient, prompting the governor to seek an extension of his leave to enable him complete his treatment in London.
The source added that now that Chime has been given the all clear, he would soon come back home to Nigeria.
But he warned that with cancer, which has gone into remission, Chime would have to undergo regular check-ups to ensure that it has not returned.
According to the source, the only thing that is still keeping Chime in London is the slight swelling around his face which doctors are said to be working on.
He said Chime's medical team had assured him that all things being equal, he should be back at his desk next month.
On Imoke, the source said though the governor too had undergone treatment for his kidney ailment, he said the Cross River governor's case was not as bad as projected.
He said Imoke had renal surgery and was recuperating in a US hospital, adding that the governor would soon return to his desk once his doctors certify that he is good to go.