Says he’s not an elitist, but a grassroots person
For Anambra State Accord Party governorship candidate, Dr Godwin Maduka, the time has come for residents of the state to vote for a credible politician who can provide social welfare for people and a clear vision to develop infrastructure in the state.
Maduka, a renowned medical doctor and philanthropist turned politician is of the opinion that Ndi Anambra has been short-changed and denied dividends of democracy since 1999 because conventional politicians have been calling the shots. He, however, urged them to seize the opportunity of November 6, to change the narrative.
To him, developing human capital in Anambra, which he described as the greatest asset of the state can change its economic fortunes.
He said, “I have a blueprint to turn around the fortunes of the state and bring out its economic prosperity. We can build pharmaceutical industries; build roads and bridges, modernise and upgrade the airport, bring the seaport to Onitsha from the Atlantic Ocean, so we can clear our containers easily; no more going to Tincan or Apapa.
“I’m also going to build 21 emergency rooms in all the 21 Local Government Areas so that whenever there was an emergency like a heart attack or stroke you would not have to run helter-skelter, there will be a place to run to where Doctors will recognise the signs and symptoms and treat the patient because nobody is free of all these diseases.
“On education, I have promised to build 21 university campuses in 21 local governments in the state by looking at what each local government is known for. For instance, in Onitsha, I will build the department of legal studies; they have more lawyers than other towns in Anambra State. So, since that’s what they are known for, we would build it for them. We can build a marine biology campus for people in Ogbaru Area such that ‘keke’ drivers can go for their normal routine in the morning and go to class in the evening. I will increase the percentage of literates in Anambra to a level that surpasses any other state in this country, after all, that is what I’m known for.
“I also told them we are going to bring technology. Anambra would probably be the first state to build a phone. We all know that if you need a phone it is possible to go to Aba and get a phone coupled for you. But, why is it that our people would not do that?
“We have plans for women and youth empowerment. Sometimes you feel bad for our graduates, something has to be done. The next mass protest would be worse than ‘EndSars’. I’m telling you if we are not careful and address the rate of unemployment in this country if we don’t intervene now, this nation is going to explode. What is bothering me more is our girls, they go to school, do the mandatory NYSC and there is no job. What do you expect them to do?
Denying insinuations that his proposed projects for the state are “elitist” Maduka, who has six hospitals in the United States said he is a complete grassroots politician who knows what to do to alleviate the suffering of the people.
He said, “These days, the business has to move side by side with transportation by land, air, and sea. I’m not an elitist; I don’t blame anybody who thinks I’m an elitist. I am a grassroots person. So our business plan is centered on people and how to improve their daily income by providing infrastructure and a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“In agriculture, we would give people grants to start mechanised farming. I don’t know if that is elitist but it is practical. If elitist means trying to go to the next level, then I’m one. Talking about what would survive this country to the next level, mechanised farming has to be there.
“Concerning empowering traders, even before now I have assisted people who finished learning the trade and they did not have money to set up, I would give them money to set up. So, we have to look at every aspect. Under my watch, Anambra State will soar. This is something I have been doing for the past 30 years.”
The governorship hopeful who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to pick Accord party governorship ticket said he had to take the decision to achieve his lofty agenda for the people and protest shenanigans that allegedly marred the PDP primary.
But his botched attempt to pick PDP governorship ticket was not his first experience in politics as he had sponsored many aspirants in All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who were denied tickets in questionable circumstances. Dr Maduka said, “I used to be APGA sympathiser but I was never a member. I watched the party over the years and saw when the party used to take the Certificate of Return from people who won elections and give it to somebody else. So, some politicians I helped during their campaigns that ought to make it, didn’t. That is one of the things that made me start looking into politics. At that point, I decided that PDP is the next thing, I joined PDP and when it was time to contest for governorship primary, I bought forms and joined the process. I won the primary going by the nomination, anybody can check it out and I had the majority of the adhoc statutory delegate. But they kept on changing the list of delegates and rules of the game to allow for the selection of candidates. I was deliberately rigged out but we shall meet on the field”.
On his long stay in the United States and insinuations about his ability to cope with realities in local politics, the Umuchukwu-born politician said, “ My critics seem to have forgotten the fact that I grew up here in the village, they also forgot the fact that I’ve been a philanthropist for over 20 years. I come home more often than people that live in Abuja or Lagos because sometimes I come home two or three times a year and sometimes, I stay for one month. I started coming home in 1997 and there has always been construction or something important going on. That is what made it possible for me to coordinate this level of development in Umuchukwu”.
On his plans to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), in the state, he said, “I want you to check the history of this country from its inception till its current state. I have not seen any politician, whether a governor, senator, or president that has done what I’ve done before going into politics. I’m not here to play politics. I’m here to develop Nigeria not just Anambra State. The truth is that most of the resources are being wasted. If we make use of them wisely, we might not need to depend on Abuja because we at Anambra State are the trade center of the South East. We shall have zero tolerance for wastages and corruption. You know that these security votes can do a lot? Wastages and embezzlement cripple the government. The act of bringing in family members, friends to run the government is bound to cripple the government. I have a mission to build this state to a standard that other states in the federation would imitate. I’m a successful businessman and medical doctor. When a successful businessman runs a state, you would see how good they are. Also, I plan to reach out to the foreign community for assistance.
“Anambra is a state of many billionaires; our people will benefit from these rich people. I’m not telling them not to invest in Port Harcourt, Owerri, Ilorin, Abuja, or Lagos but I will plead with them to invest in their hometown. I love Anambra billionaires because they are patriotic and would love to see their state becoming the best in Nigeria. We would partner with them to build institutions, we would ask them to help us do this or that and we would pay later. So my strategy is in different forms. I would try to maintain that friendship with them; I have not seen any Anambra billionaire that has not seen me in his house. They respect me and I respect them.
“Still on IGR, 30 to fourty percent of Lagos IGR is from the Igbos. That’s why I am trying to encourage our people to come home here and build factories, let’s start building Anambra. I’m sick and tired of all of us not realising the fact that the more you put the factory elsewhere, our children, siblings, parents, and grandparents suffer. Give me the microphone and you would see our people coming home. I don’t mind going from doorstep to doorstep, kneeling and saying ‘please we need you, come back home”.
I also plan to build medical tourism in Anambra. No more cases of people traveling to India and dying over there or going to the UK and dying on the plane or in America. I’m one of the doctors that attended to them in America, I have many Nigerians that come to my hospitals, so that’s why I intend to increase hospitals and improve facilities on the existing ones to discourage medical tourism to America or India. In addition, I have vowed to improve the power supply and ensure 24-hour power supply in the state to encourage tourism and business people to set up factories in the state. It is possible; my hospitals in Nigeria have twenty-four hours of power supply. If I become governor of Anambra State, our people will not regret it. My government will benefit the opponents, friends, and foes.
On security, he said: “Let everybody know that insecurity is birthed from a lack of job and money. Just as women can go into prostitution when they are jobless, men can carry guns when there is nothing else to do. By the time I encourage development in this state, create infrastructure nobody has ever seen, the kind of IGR we would get from Nnewi, Onitsha is quite enough plus that of Abuja. I already told you that I would get some foreign investors into this country. So, when they come and all these things are combined, insecurity would go down because people would have jobs to do. These boys joining cults do so out of hopelessness. Have you seen people who are gainfully employed joining cult? The answer to the insecurity issue is to increase the literacy level, give people jobs when they are done with school, create decency in politics so that people would not have to idolise thuggery, a grown man trying to convince us that apple is orange, with my emergence, we are going to change the narrative”.
Speaking on influence of the church, the guber hopeful said: “I don’t have problems with Catholic, Anglican, and other denominations here because I have been working closely with them. I built structures for Catholic and Anglican churches, I built schools that are being managed by these churches, they are doing very well and very organsied. They have been our development partners and we would continue to work together”.
He said he is one of the main godfathers in Anambra State. “Probably, if you count six of them, I’m one of them. But it does not do me any good, so I stepped down from being a godfather to being a father; kingmaker to be a king. Unique qualities about me are rare to come by in the history of Nigerian politics. I never knew that I would go into politics until things started going wrong and instead of sitting down in the U.S. and criticising people, I decided to come home to change things for the better. That is what drove me into politics. I don’t have anything against godfathers, but I put it to the godfathers that they should, please, do the right thing, don’t support the wrong candidate. If you attain the ‘godfather’ level, you’re supposed to be a caretaker of the people. You have to be conscious of how to make society better because one day you will die. I will fight with the last breathe in me until the system changes for the better and our people get the best out of democracy, he added.