Tony Amadi writes that Dr. Godwin Maduka, the Harvard-trained medical doctor and leading candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party ticket to govern Anambra State has put forward a very strong case across the state that he should win not only the primary but the ultimate main election in November
The Anambra State gubernatorial primaries is coming less than one month away and the politics is boiling as you would expect in a state that billionaire businessmen and politicians dominate the atmosphere. In the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 16 aspirants are running around the state, pleading for primary votes that will decide the party’s candidate for the November polls.
It is widely believed that if the PDP gets their act together, Anambra is theirs to take even though the APGA, acronym for All Progressive Grand Alliance has produced the governors for three or so terms now.
It is getting to 15 years since the party called the shots from ‘Agu Awka’ Government House, the party is very keen to ensure that the candidate that emerges from the primary is the right candidate that will be unbeatable. Party grandees and stakeholders have assured that the primary election will be free, fair and rancour free.
The PDP has come to believe that despite the fact that the party has more support in the entire state, it has consistently failed to produce the governor in the last two gubernatorial elections in the state. It has become imperative for the party to ensure that it wins the gubernatorial prize this time around and it appears to be leaving no stone unturned to achieve that goal.
The party’s leader in Anambra and former governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi went on tour of the 21 local government areas to stress that there was no preferred candidate and the primary election to select the candidate is not only going to be free and fair, but will be seen to be very credible, noting that the PDP must move back into government from March 2022 when the next term start. The matter of zoning has proved to be a major talking point in the gubernatorial election for the PDP where the people of Anambra South Senatorial District insist that they should produce the governor as the area is the only one district which has not produced the governor of the state.
Meanwhile, everybody is in the fray, North, Central and the South but the current frontrunner, a United States based medical practitioner, Dr. Godwin Maduka, who comes from the South has put a very strong case across the state that he should win not only the primary but the ultimate main election in November. Many important stakeholders have put out testimonies on why Maduka should get the ticket and battle a floundering APGA government’s candidate or whoever emerges from its ranks.
Dr. Maduka had earlier covered the 21 local governments of the state like most of the other 16 PDP aspirants. Some aspirants have not gone round the state and simply invited executives of the local party to come to the state capital for briefings and cash handouts to raise awareness on their behalf. The Harvard trained triple Professor of Medicine, Pharmacy and Science has turned himself into an astute politician in the last six months of intense politicking, barnstorming the deep ends of the state and has become well known throughout the state as the man who developed his home town, Umuchukwu into a big city with just about everything a city needs, from hospitals, churches, police academy to magistrate and high courts, primary and secondary schools, roads, bridges and a world class medical research facility on a 16-storey edifice at the centre of the town.
His aim for building the medical research centre was to fasten the end of medical tourism in Nigeria.
The big challenge that opponents of Dr. Maduka are facing is that if you have not done anything to develop your area, what right have you got to ask for their votes when you have not shown what you can do to deserve their support. There are two senators and at least two members of the House of representatives hustling for the position of g9vernor in the PDP. The general belief around the state is that Maduka has done enough to get the PDP ticket and win the election and bring about the total change he is promising the people.
I joined a town hall meeting in Idemili South and Awka North local government areas to witness the soap box oratory dished out by the medical guru and found that he was out-performing the political stalwarts that’s been around for years. With virtually no script to set out his manifesto, he was adept at stating his goals and promises to the people who seem to be buying into his proposals to take Anambra to the top in infrastructure, agriculture, technology and industrial development that will trigger jobs for the teeming unemployed graduates of the state.
At Umuagu Civic Centre, Nnobi, in the Idemili South LGA, Dr. Godwin Maduka listed reasons why he is the candidate to beat and pleaded to God to do for him in Anambra what He has done for him in America and Umuchukwu. He wants to end fee paying at the secondary school level and ensure a massively improved health care for the people.
Enthusiastic crowds followed him wherever he went and when he strikes a familiar chord with the delegates, they lavish him with praises that include his various nicknames such as Okosisi Orumba, Ijele Ndigbo, Nkwa Chukwu Kwelu Anambra and the Lion of Africa. The parade of women supporters following him on each campaign stop would suddenly erupt with dance and singing, praising his efforts to develop Anambra and assuring that God will hear their prayers.
Onye Chi Nyelu Eze, Mmadu Apuru Inaya, meaning No one can takeaway chieftaincy conferred by God formed the lyrics as the women sang, praising God for bringing a personality like Dr. Maduka to contest for the highest leadership position in the state.
One delegate wearing the uniform of another aspirant told Dr. Maduka that he has heard so much about him and always was never around when he visited the local government. I have now seen you, heard your voice face-to-face and I am convinced that you are the leader Anambra needs at Agu Awka and I will devote my time and money to ensure you are the next governor of Anambra state.
That was the Maduka Moment at the Nnobi delegate meeting with the USA medical doctor who many are already addressing as His Excellency, the next Governor of Anambra State. But the aspirant is not taking any serious notice of those who think the game was all over. He is continuously motivating the delegates and urging them that he is the answer to the problems of the state. The contributions that he has made in Umuchukwu, his home town are quite enormous, “but they are just small signs of what I will be bringing from the moment I am elected as governor”, he told me as we headed to Enugu to catch a flight.
He told the delegates that “We must thank Governor Willie Obiano for the Anambra Airport he has built in Umueri”, however, “it would be the task of my government when elected to add a sea port to facilitate the import and export driven nature of business in the state. It will be a question of dredging the rivers that connect Anambra to the sea and a whole new world of trade and industry will be opened up. The Federal Government will play a role by approving the necessary permits.
Maduka’s oratorical skills are embedded in Zikism and he was ready to remind us that his Harvard orientation tallies with Nnamdi Azikiwe’s Columbia University, Odumegwu Ojukwu’s Oxford University as God given gift’s to Anambra people, promising that he would ensure the maintenance of quality of leadership expected from leaders with such sound education. He is probably the richest black doctor in America and promises that 50 percent of the cost of developing Anambra under his leadership will come from abroad. “I can say this with confidence because I have the contact for investors on both sides of the Atlantic”, Dr. Maduka said emphatically.
“There will be trauma centres in every local government and the production of Anambra Phones will be one of the industrial projects I will embark upon as Governor of Anambra state to help with job creation. The other area to be considered is the solar energy system. Electricity is crucial for business development and life generally can be a drag without constant electricity supply. It will be a major focus for my administration.”
Despite being a rooky in the art of politics there is little doubt after watching his style and drive in fishing out primary delegates across the state, it is clear that the man knows his terrain and is winning the love of voters, but also the delegates who will vote later in June 2021 for him to become the candidate of the PDP in the Anambra gubernatorial elections in November this year. What seems to be going well for him is the fact that people can see what he has done for his people and the belief that Dr. Godwin Maduka will not sell them down the river is the reason behind the sense that he will come up trumps at the end of the day.
The big challenge that opponents of Dr. Maduka are facing is that if you have not done anything to develop your area, what right have you got to ask for their votes when you have not shown what you can do to deserve their support. There are two senators and at least two members of the House of representatives hustling for the position of g9vernor in the PDP. The general belief around the state is that Maduka has done enough to get the PDP ticket and win the election and bring about the total change he is promising the people