Dr. Godwin Maduka, a United States trained medical practitioner, is among more than 10 aspirants seeking the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State. He was recently at the headquarters of the party to obtain his nomination form, and thereafter, fielded questions with journalists on his vision for the state. ONYEKACHI EZE reports
May we know your mission to the headquarters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP
)? I am at the Wadata Plaza for collection of nomination form for the Anambra poll. I was born in Anambra State, I studied abroad, and I was blessed by God to change what I didn’t like growing up.
Growing up, I was into farming; my father was a native doctor who does medicine for different things and that was how I saw the art of healing, studied medicine and pharmacy overseas. I did my elementary and secondary here, which I’m still proud of because that is what I go by, that early days of studying here. I just want you to know that no matter how much time I spent abroad,
I have always wanted to be home because I can see my reflection in your faces. I’m not going to say anything about anybody but changes can begin somewhere. Change for good can take one individual or group of individuals. Nigerians in diaspora never forgot home, and I am one of them.
What do you think will stand you out among other PDP aspirants?
I have been able to do things that I think will help my nation. I have built the tallest medical research building in Africa with 17 floors. I didn’t depend on government for anything.
So, when it was time, I was able to change the landscape of my city that I grew up. Most of us didn’t have the fortune of traveling to Lagos or traveling to Abuja. We didn’t travel anywhere; we stayed in the village doing farming and all that.
But as God wanted it, I was able to obtain scholarship to study in the U.S. I did undergraduate via scholarship. I read Pharmacy and obtained a doctorate degree in through scholarship. I also read Medicine through scholarship and obtained a PhD in Medical Management and a Doctor of Science. I was able to get triple professorship of Anesthesia Management and Surgery.
I established about six hospitals in America and after God blessed me, I came home, and I was able to do all those things you hear about me. I was able to pave the roads in my town. I was able to build a civic centre. I was able to build a place of worship in my town as well as a school for elementary and secondary education.
I was able to send a lot of people in my town to different areas in the world to study various courses including Law and Medicine.
Our people have light now, they have boreholes; they don’t have to drink from the stream, which is not sanitised. I was so happy doing that, but I realise I can do more. That is why I got into this.
This is the first time you’re aspiring to be governor. Why do you think you will be considered?
If I’m given an opportunity, I’m going to do more than you ever see. I’m not coming in for money. I’m not going for power. I’m not coming for anything else but to showcase the blessings God showered on me
For the past 30 years, I have been part of the process. I just never got involved in running for anything, but every governor in Anambra State; from Dr. Chris Ngige to Mr. Peter Obi, they will tell you I was involved. I was also involved with different political parties. I was involved in helping people get nominated. That’s what I have been doing.
This is not the time for criticism. This is the time to tell Nigerians that we have a lot of people all over the world, who love Nigeria and should get involved in the government.
Specifically, what are your plans for people of Anambra State if elected as their next governor?
I have always believed in a 10-point agenda. I believe that education has to change. I was told that Nigerians were not supposed to be paying for elementary and secondary education. There was a law for that. So, our children shouldn’t be paying for them. I’m also a product of easy education. We’re going to make education easy.
I will build a university in the state since we have 21 local government, I will establish the campuses in every local government, not universities, but campuses, so that education will be affordable and accessible, and nearer to every child. A literate nation is a wealthy nation, so there’s no reason for Nigerians to spend a lot of money on medical tourism anymore.
I’m one of those they come to meet in America. We need to be able to build our own healthcare, so that we won’t be flying out of this country, which is why I’m back for the past 15 years and building one of the most sophisticated training facility – oncology, cardiology, whatever that is killing our people.
It is not everybody that has a visa to go to abroad to get treatment, so for that reason in I’m in the medical field. I plan to put emergency room cubicle in 21 local governments, so that people who are having stroke, they can be attended to quickly.
People that have an accident, they will go there quickly; people who are having heart attack, they will go there quickly. We will educate our people.
I met a lady that said her husband was having pain in the chest, getting tired, having pain in the jaw; in the morning he was dead.
The quality of life will have to change, that’s what I’m going to do in terms of the health sector. I’m going to educate our people. I will make sure that our people get the quality education they need here so as to stop the brain drain, going to overseas to get quality education and when they get over there, they don’t come back.
Our people keep taking the little money we have to get healthcare abroad.
How are you going to tackle youth unemployment because we know that the high rate of crime in the society is because of unemployment?
That’s part of my 10-point agenda. We have to do women and youth empowerment. Women and youth are used and dumped. We have to create jobs. Part of the 10-point agenda is to establish and impact on the youth through ICT.
We need to go into ICT. We need to teach our children ICT. If I’m elected the governor of Anambra State, in four years, we will have Anambra phone. We won’t be importing those phones, and that will save us a lot of money. ICT is an important language. It is the third language in the world. ICT is part of my agenda and youths should be empowered.
There will be factories that will be producing genuine medications. I studied that, I studied pharmacokinetics; I studied pharmacognosy, which is a study of plants and roots as a means of medication that our forefathers knew about.
So, when we have those factories, we will be able to do that. That’s in the area of medicine. The existing hospitals will be standardised. We are going to have a regulatory agency, we going to have standard medical training, standard medication, standard treatments in Anambra State. One of the things that borthers me more than anything is transportation.
There will be air, land and sea. The air, they already embarked on it, because we are a commercial centre of sub-Saharan Africa. That is what we are known for. So, e are going to make sure there is air transport.
There is construction of airport now by the incumbent governor. There will also be maintenance of roads because it costs us a lot of money traveling on very bad roads. So, we want to make sure that anybody that is constructing these roads will be somebody that knows what he is doing. They will have to guarantee us that for 10 years there won’t be any potholes.
There will be sea transport. It is big dream, I know, but it is not undoable. There should be dredging of River Niger to create a medium port and medium level ships should be able to be coming over there. If we do that, we will actually increase the wealth of this country. Everybody knows that Anambra people do a lot of that. That is what I’m trying to do.
In the area of social welfare, we are going to look after our poor people; we are going to make sure pensioners are paid, school teachers are being taken care of. We generate a lot of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), we are going to make sure that we utilise those to actualise some of these agenda
. I’m not here for your money. I’m not here for your power. I’m not here for your fame. I have the money already long time ago. I am here because I’m a citizen of Nigeria. I mean well for this country, the largest populated black nation in the world, can’t we all work together to change the landscape and let our grandchildren inherit something good?