My choice of candidate just lost the Anambra State primary race for Governorship. His party the PDP just lost a damn good candidate. Anambra State just lost a good man and a potential game-changer.
I saw his interview with Arise TV just before the primaries and sensed that something was amiss. He was not the vibrant man I used to know. He looked hesitant and distracted. Perhaps he knew then that his ambition wouldn’t materialize. Not in the face of the abracadabra that passes for party politics in these parts. Not now, at least.
Well, life goes on. I congratulate the winner, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, who along with other successful candidates must now seek the blessing of the wider electorate for the hot seat in Awka.
With a very strong medical background, perhaps Godwin Maduka was not a good fit to be Governor in climes and times like this. Perhaps politicians don’t make good medical doctors and medical doctors don’t make good politicians, It would be interesting for social scientists to someday establish the true correlation between those two variables.
That Dr. Maduka could have transformed Anambra State into a greater force to reckon with is something I believe without a shred of doubt. But now, that belief must dwell in the realm of imagination and dreams.
I also believe that God gives each nation or state a leader to lead them to the Promised Land. If the people reject that leader, then that generation (and perhaps others) will have to wait in darkness for another anointed one to come.
A people may be truly blind even though millions of them are equipped with a pair of eyes each. Why did the PDP in Anambra reject a man like Maduka? What are the consequences of their choice at this time when the state and the entire Nigerian nation is in dire need of transformational leaders? Is the opportunity lost for ever? Only time will tell.
The message the folks in Anambra State may be sending is that accomplishments in life, hard work to prove oneself, rigorous multidisciplinary education, international exposure and new ideas matter little in our society.
We are comfortable where we are and don’t need a leader with a radical vision for positive transformation.
It would appear that the political system in Nigeria keeps throwing up the same kind of folks year after year, yet the people expect to get a different result. The result is the same decade after decade – underdevelopment, misery and poverty.
For generations now, Nigerians of all persuasions have sent their children and relations to Europe, USA and Canada to acquire knowledge and experience from those cultures. Of what purpose is such exposure if the society lacks courage to put the brightest beneficiaries to work at the highest levels of impact?
For those of us living in USA, Anambra State for now is only good enough as a burial ground of expired bodies and dreams. Not a fertile ground for the germination of bold ideas. It is a shame.
Woodrow Wilson, one-time American president, said it quite well: “Every country is renewed out of the unknown ranks and not out of the ranks of those already famous and powerful and in control.”
Dr. Maduka could have lifted millions of young men and women out of poverty in Anambra State and across Nigeria. He had a vision to create jobs simply by stimulating the environment to replicate his hugely successful medical entrepreneurial experience in the US. No other candidate had such a clear and credible vision.
As proof that he wasn’t just hallucinating, Dr. Maduka began transforming his little community in Anambra State with money from his own pocket. But along the way he created animosity. If you want to make enemies try to change something for the better.
Barack Obama made enemies by transforming the healthcare system which was 1/6 of the entire US economy but was notorious for excluding the most needy.
Now we are left to rue what could have been had a good man like Dr. Godwin Maduka realized his dream of piloting the affairs of his beloved Anambra State for a few years. Such is life.
For Maduka and other good men who ran the race, there is consolation in the words of Maya Angelou: “Courage allows the successful person to fail – and to learn powerful lessons from the failure – so that in the end, it was not a failure at all.”
Dom Ikeogu (Big D), a Nigerian in Diaspora, lives in Minnesota, USA.