Raymond Ozoji in Awka reports on the outstanding contribution of a son of the soil to the appraisal of his community in Anambra State
Apart from physical infrastructure, sustainable human infrastructure is most cardinal when it involves meaningful and sustainable development. This is why social amenities like electricity, potable water, motorable roads, recreation facilities as well as a great many others are considered indicators in a developed society or community.
Often time’s public-spirited individuals step in to supplement government’s efforts in the provision of such amenities, all in the attempt to make the affected community habitable. Such public-spirited individuals who have the economic muscle shoulder the responsibility of providing such amenities in their respective domains and local communities.
Such is the story of Umuchukwu in Orumba-North Local Government Area of Anambra State Nigeria and a son of the soil, Dr. Godwin Maduka.
Not a few individuals contemplate with pride and pleasure, the far different future that providence had through the diligence, hard work and charity of one man offered a community, long deprived, neglected and forgotten.
Already in his life, Maduka, a U.S Harvard trained Medical Doctor and Pharmacist has left a worthy memorial of his birth to his native community by the sheer quantum of amenities he has been able to provide for her.
Fired by patriotic zeal, Maduka who is the medical director of Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Centre in the United States of America, has since totally committed himself to extricating his Umuchukwu community from destitution in whatever shape or form it presents itself.
He was once quoted to have said that wealth would ultimately be meaningless if it cannot be used to better the lives of the lees privilege. He therefore vowed not to see the pains of his growing up replicated in his community.
“The wealthy must provide jobs for the youths; build skills acquisition centers for willing adults, market stalls for men and women, if society must be secured”, he said.
Maduka’s admonition is not just mere sound and fury, for truly he has indeed opened up Umuchukwu by building schools, hospitals, churches, security posts, industries, functional police station with modern working tools.
The renowned philanthropist and Chief of Staff of Spring Valley Surgery Centre, also in the US, believes that government alone cannot give resounding development to its communities due competitive demand for available resources for social, economic amenities expected by the people.
Maduka, a well rounded medical doctor who specializes in Pharmacy, Anesthesiology, Pain Management, Spine Medicine and Surgery has trained and worked in the best medical institutions in the United States. There is no doubt that the sheer force of his nature, the supremacy of his integrity and the positive firmness and constancy of his nature has really endeared him to his people and the rest of the world.
Umuchukwu long in disrepute as one of the most backward and remote communities in the state, was totally bereft of any meaningful government attention. Nkerehi, as it was then called, was in abysmal destitution and absolute nothingness.
The only business that sustained the inhabitants of the community was the stone quarry, while poverty reigned supreme in the land. Hunger and privation combined forces to unleash violence on the people of Umuchukwu community.
Before the referendum that led to the change of the name of the community, by the Peter Obi led administration in 2008, the place was almost a haven of criminals, a situation which led to the kidnap of the community’s traditional ruler, Igwe Michael Ukaegbu by unknown persons.
All these were soon to change for the better, courtesy of Dr. Godwin Maduka’s Foundation established about 15 years ago and the sheer quantum of what it has provided for the community.
The intervention compelled Governor Obi to construct two roads connecting Umuchukwu with other communities The community owes its thanks to a foundation known as Dr.Godwin Maduka Foundation launched about 15 years ago. As the name s shows, its founder, Maduka is a spine surgeon, a professor of surgery and pain management.
Today hundreds of youths at home and in the diaspora are on his pay roll having through his employment and empowerment schemes in Nigeria and the United States of America respectively.
It would be recalled that when the foundation visited then governor Obi at the Government House in Awka with the pathetic story of the absence od access roads in the area, they told Obi that they were willing to contribute 50 percent of the contract, while the state would pay 50 percent.
Obi apparently moved by such offer decided to go to the community to see things for himself and what he saw overwhelmed him. He took over the responsibility for those roads alone.
By this time, the foundation had built two churches, one each for the Anglican and Catholic in the area; built hospital and maternity, over 70 standard houses for the widows and the poor in the area.
Others are Immaculate Conception International College 1 and 2 with buses donated to them, a police station, a magistrate court, a standard market called (Afor Market), Barracks for the civil defence staff and two monasteries.
The Foundation also built community centre, post office, a state high court; provided transformers for electricity, built mighty edifices for primary and secondary schools, a palace for the monarch, civic centre, houses for clerics of catholic and Anglican among others.
An overly excited native was quick to state “today there is no more thatched house in the community. Maduka has replaced every thatched house in the area with three or four-bedroom bungalows. About 100 of such buildings were rebuilt. They belong to the indigent natives, especially widows. All such buildings carry green roofing aluminum zincs for easy identification.
To effectively battle criminality in Umuchukwu , Maduka who is also Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pain Management ,Touro University Henderson, State of Nevada United States of America , has not only built a four two-storey police station but complemented it with a bungalow for the officers mess and another structure to serve as operational base for the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and donated to the Nigeria Police. He also built headquarters for the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
It is therefore not for nothing, given the monumental contributions of this medical doctor to his native land Umuchukwu that many of his countrymen and women publicly declare that there is not to be found in the annals of their history a character more truly great than that of Dr. Godwin Maduka who often say that secret of success lies in combination of hard work, prayer and education.