A Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, has offered to assist ailing Nigerian lecturer, Inih Ebong.
PREMIUM TIMES broke the news on October 5 about Mr Ebong’s illness and his need for urgent medical help.
The lecturer has cardiac failure, a medical report said.
Philip Akinola, a representative of Femi Otedola Foundation, told PREMIUM TIMES, Monday, that Mr Otedola read the paper’s report on Mr Ebong and was moved by the lecturer’s plights.
“Your call for his need for assistance has caught our attention and we are willing to be of assistance to him,” Mr Akinola said in an email earlier sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Ebong’s wife, Uduak, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the foundation has reached out to her over her husband’s ill-health.
Mr Ebong has been out of job for so long and without any alternative source of income, he does not have the money to pay for medical bills or even feed himself and his family.
He was an associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo, when his appointment was unlawfully terminated in 2002. Akpan Ekpo and Peter Effiong were the vice-chancellor and registrar of the institution respectively at the time.
Three successive vice-chancellors of the university have refused to reinstate him, despite an unbroken string of victories at different courts.
Mr Ebong, before his sack, had a running battle with Messrs Ekpo and Effiong, who saw him as a thorn in their side for speaking up regularly against alleged maladministration and corruption in the school.
Mr Ebong’s physician, Ime Essien, in a medical report issued on October 8, said the lecturer was brought to the hospital, Prime Clinic, Uyo, in November 2019 because of “recurrent leg swelling and shortness of breath of about 9 years duration”.
“He had earlier been managed at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital for congestive cardiac failure secondary to rheumatic cardiomyopathy,” the doctor said.
Mr Essien, a consultant cardiologist, said a medical examination he did on Mr Ebong revealed he had “fluid retention, including scrotal oedema”.
“He was managed conservatively and discharged after spending one month in hospital. Since then, he has been in and out of hospital as his health continues to deteriorate,” the doctor said.
Mr Ebong’s last visit to the hospital was on October 7, 2020.
“Recent 2D Echo showed that all cardiac chambers were dilated with very poor left ventricular systolic function with ejection fraction of 35 % in a setting of severe mitral regurgitation. Severe tricuspid regurgitation and mild pulmonary hypertension were noted. He also had mild pericardial effusion.
“He is currently being managed with antifailure regimen and anticoagulation for the Atrial Fibrillation. He is still in hypotension with blood pressure of 80/60 mmHg,” the medical report stated.
“At this stage, he will be a poor candidate for cardiac valve replacement. I suggest he continues on conservative management. However, cardiac transplantation can be considered,” the report concluded.
Mr Ebong has been receiving lots of goodwill and financial support from Nigerians nationwide since PREMIUM TIMES published the story of his illness.
The authorities of the University of Uyo, however, appear unperturbed over the lecturer’s condition.