Umuchukwu/Promise Onwu and the wickedness of men: Valentine Obienyem
The first time I heard about development in Umuchukwu town (formerly Nkerehi), in Orumba Local Government area was 6 years ago. I read in one of the local newspapers in Anambra State – Fides – how one man was the architect of those development. The write-up sounded too ideal to be real!
However, the man behind the development, Dr. Godwin Maduka, is the Managing Director of the Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Centre, the largest of such in Nevada, USA. He is, in no metaphorical sense, a tree that made a forest of the thick Amazon type.
The day he visited Mr. Peter Obi, when Obi was still the Governor, he had just two messages for him, namely: (a) to thank him for the massive development of Anambra State. He said he was impressed with what he saw in the State and that he was available to assist in any capacity.
(b) He told Mr. Obi about the two roads in Umuchukwu,
Ogbunka-Umuchukwu and Owerri-Ezukala-Umuchukwu roads.
He appealed the roads should be awarded and that he would pay 50% of the cost, while Government pays 50%. He thereafter invited HE to visit Umuchukwu. Interestingly, the man did not talk about what he did – and continues to do- in the town.
Because of the attractiveness of his proposal, Mr. Obi went to Umuchukwu. It was then that we also heard from the people of the town what Dr.Godwin Maduka is to them. Seeing his unusual inconspicuous philanthropy, Obi told him that the State would do the road without his contribution. Thereafter, Obi visited the town often and personally flagged off the construction of the roads.
This was how the two roads were done from Ogbunka and Owerri Ezukalla terminating at the boundary between Anambra and Abia States. The entire town’s people, except Mr. Promise Onwu and Prof. Igweike, have continued to show gratitude.
Later, when the people of the town visited Obi, Obi told them that there was no need to contest the change of the name from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu since it was the collective decision of the town backed by due process – sampling of opinion, voting and all that. “With What Maduka has done and has continued to do in the town, if he wants the town to bear Maduka, they should oblige him”, Obi jokingly concluded.
Five years ago, I accompanied Mr. Obi to the ASA USA Convention in the USA. While there, one Mr. Promise Onwu came to meet me with loads of petitions. He introduced himself as coming from Nkerehi, I interrupted by asking him: “Do you mean Umuchukwu? He started reeling catalogue of woes that have supposedly befallen the town because of Dr. Maduka. I stopped him and politely asked him to go back with his petitions which I would not even touch with the tip of my little finger. Throwing away all diplomacy, I castigated him as an enemy of progress for him to mount opposition against a man who has done so much for the people of the town. I told him I wished Maduka came from my town. I told Promise that Professor Igweike and himself were wicked for trying to drag their town back to barbarism. I am not sure if he has recovered from that rude shock, which still secretly propels him to get goose pimples whenever Obi’s name is mentioned.
Yesterday, the funeral of Dr. Godwin Maduka’s elder brother, Sylvanus Maduka commenced. Obi who is undergoing a programme at Harvard at the moment asked Chief SBN Okeke and myself to represent him. I saw it as an opportunity to see for myself, the details of what Maduka did in Umuchukwu. While SBN was relaxing in the arena, I left with one man from Umuchukwu and the driver to explore the town. The attached are pictures of some of the things Dr. Godwin Maduka built in the town single handed. I will very much be happy if the likes of Promise Onwu will prove us wrong.
Let us name some of them according to how they are attached. The first pic is Mr. Promise Onwu’s country home, the man who is antagonizing Dr. Maduka. The second picture is that of Dr. Godwin Maduka (Centre), with Hon Nikky Ugochukwu (middle), Member representing Orumba South and Chief SBN Okeke (right), during the burial yesterday. The rest are pictures of some of the projects by Dr. Maduka in Umuchukwu:
1. Mr. Promise Onwu’s Country Home, Uhu Village, Umuchukwu
2. Dr. Godwin Maduka (Centre), with Hon Nikky Ugochukwu, Member representing Orumba
3. One among over 70 standard houses for widows and the poor in the town. Umuchukwu is full of houses built by Dr. Maduka
4. A building among so many others under construction for the poor in the town.
5. Immaculate Conception International College 1
6. Immaculate Conception International College 2
7. Bus donated to the school
8. Police Station
9. Barracks for the police
10. Barracks for the Civil Defense
11. The Catholic Church
12. Rev. Fathers House
13. Rev. Sisters House
14. Monastery for Brothers (Another for Sisters)
15. St. Paul’s Anglican Church
16. Community Centre
17. Civic centre under construction
18. Trinitas International Hospital
19. The Igwe’s Palace
20. The Post office in the town
21. The Town’s Hall
22. His Village Hall
23. Afor Onyemagbula Ibenya
24. State High Court (Not in use) and he plans to build Judges’ Quarters
25. Community primary school in the town
26. And many others not included.
Projects done by the former Governor, Mr. Peter Obi
1. Umuchukwu, Ogbunka-Umuchukwu road
2. Owerri-Ezukala-Umuchukwu road
3. Bus for the Secondary School in the town
4. Security Vehicle
5. 5 classroom Block
6. New Transformer
In this, I have not included Dr. Maduka’s palatial house, because it is about the progress of Umuchukwu in particular and Anambra State in general and not about Dr. Maduka as a person.
After exploring what Maduka has done for his community, I secretly wished that all money bags in Anambra State, who use their wealth to cause confusion, should be taken to Umuchukwu on excursion for them to see how to positively engage one’s wealth for the benefit of humanity. By so doing, we are happier and more contented.
Though we do not crave for a return to the barbarism of the past, but in those days, families such as that of Mr. Promise Onwu and that of Prof Igweike would be sold to slavery for being problems and enemies of humanity.
Concluding, I asked my tour guide to take me to projects executed for the town by Onwu and Igweike. The man had a throaty, guttural laughter and told me that all Prof. Igweike does is to share condom to the people of the town any time he visited home. As for promise Onwu, after another quaking laughter, he said I should just forget that efulefu.
The aim of this write up is to instruct us that no matter how good one is, one must have opposition. We should not allow such opposition to dampen our resolve at doing good as Dr. Godwin Maduka perfectly does.
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