By Jude Atupulazi
As the race for the Anambra State Government House gathers momentum, I will, from time to time, zero in on the backgrounds of some of the major actors in a contest that already promises to cause an earthquake. In this edition, I bring to you my interaction with Hon Michael-Joe Onwudinjo, a political aide to Dr Godwin Maduka, one of those Jostling for the seat of incumbent governor, Willie Obiano.
In this short interview, Onwudinjo dishes out the qualities in Maduka, which, he thinks, stand Maduka in good stead to overcome others in the race to Agu Awka.
You are working for the emergence of your principal, Dr Godwin Maduka, as the next occupant of Govt House in 2022. What can you tell us about him?
There is no doubt that the character of every individual defines his or her personality. According to Warren Buffet, “Look for three things in a person – intelligence, energy and integrity. If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother about the two”.
I have a strong feeling that Warren Buffet had Dr Maduka in mind when he made the above statement. Analysing Dr Maduka’s personality reveals that he has full supply of the above quoted three sterling qualities that lead to success and good leadership.
Let us first consider his poor challenging background. The Lion of Africa, as he is called, had poor economic and social base which was so daunting the he could not enrol as a student at the University of Port-Harcourt after gaining admission meritoriously to study Medicine.
Due to his strong character, determination and faith in God, when divine providence beckoned on him and he obtained scholarship to study in USA, he was not carried away by the allure of the heavenly environment he suddenly found himself in. Rather, he resisted the temptations, defied all the attractions of his sudden socio-economic emancipation and remained ever determined and focused. This much desired characteristic saw to his emergence as the conqueror of his environment – both in his academic and medical practice fields.
There is no doubt that Maduka has made it. Can you regale us with how it all began?
Like other great achievers, his strength of character and diverse academic excellence were all he needed to obtain a non-collateralized loan of US$2 million from American Bank to establish his first hospital business in Las Vegas. There is no doubt that the loan grant wouldn’t have been possible if he had failed the integrity test in such highly regulated and computerized business environment.
His record of consolidation, growth and expansion of his hospital business into a conglomerate cannot be possible without discipline, perseverance, strict observation of accountability principles and astute management of human and material resources. He values every cent or kobo he earns. He was able to strike a balance between his generous nature and the need to sustain the generosity through profitability and growth of his business.
There is no doubt that the profitability of his business is the engine that powers his humanitarian and philanthropic projects in Umuchukwu and other Communities.
It was on the premise of his excellent managerial skills and success that he was elected the Chairman of the African Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas. Today, he is rated the richest black medical doctor in USA.
While he continues to advance academically, socially and economically, there is no doubt that as a black man who is often a victim of jealousy and envy in the alien environment, he has remained constantly under the watchful eyes of the American Security network without any scandal. This further attests to the strength of his character and the genuineness and transparency of his business in a society where the rule of law prevails, irrespective of the status of the individual concerned.
Thus, he has successfully demonstrated his capacity to employ and manage high level professionals in a complex sector of hospital business in one of the global most competitive economies.
When further x-rayed, it will be observed that despite Dr Maduka’s acclaimed successes, that he remains his natural humble, stable and accommodating self. This may be attributed to the fact that he left Umuchukwu to USA at an adult age of about 20 years when he had fully internalised the customs and traditions of his people – “onye ahana nwanne ya “.
Your principal is known for his philanthropy, especially in his home base of Umuchukwu. Can you dwell on this aspect of his life?
In spite of the attractions of the western life, the home remains the best to him. Dr Maduka has not allowed his success to alienate him from his God who made it possible for his unimaginable rise to stardom. Not only that he is always armed with his chaplet; he religiously says his rosary and freely dispenses charity, especially to those mostly in need of attention.
To him, discrimination is a taboo and that was why despite being a Catholic by denomination, he built churches for both the Catholics and Anglicans in Umuchukwu. Aside the Community projects executed by him, he equally extended favours and built houses for both the widows and less privileged, irrespective of the beneficiary being a friend or foe.
There is no better demonstration of strength of character than his inclination to fairness and equity. He has demonstrated that with his resources, he cannot suppress, but protect the weak. Even when unjustifiably challenged and provoked, he adopts defensive, instead offensive, approach to the aggressor.
Another striking quality about Dr Maduka is his strong belief in reward for loyalty and performance. But in his meekness and passion for the empowerment of people, especially the youths, he demonstrates least tolerance for dishonesty and violation of due process.
Dr Maduka symbolizes the only biblical leprous patient who went back to show appreciation after being miraculously cured by Jesus. He is a person that will never forget his mentor or whoever that assists him to climb the ladder of success.
Above all, he has good listing ears and is always receptive to good advice and equally has huge capacity for absorption of shocks.
While we continue our search for the best candidate for the governorship position in 2022 in Anambra State, let us not forget the saying that ‘you can never know the character of a man until given power’.
What political platform will he use to seek political office, come 2021?
For now, that platform is the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Dr Godwin Maduka has been divinely given intellectual, economic and social power and he has never failed God and man. As a true leader, he sows no hatred but cultivates love. Let us entrust the political power of Anambra State to him and we will be proud we did.