Dr. Godwin Maduka, renowned medical doctor and front-line PDP governorship aspirant in Anambra state, received the prestigious Michael Okpara Leadership Prize as Philanthropist of the Millennium on Thursday, 3rd June, 2021 at the Sheraton hotel and towers in Abuja.
Maduka who has also acquired reputation for touching lives of many people and families in his Umuchukwu town, in Orumba South of Anambra state, was honoured by Michael Okpara Foundation as part of the Centenary Celebration of Rt. Hon Dr, Michael Okpara, Premier of former Eastern Nigeria and a renowned a heart surgeon.
Maduka stole the show at the investiture ceremony when he announced a donation of N50million at the occasion as support for the establishment of Michael Okpara Leadership Institute and explained to the audience how Okpara inspired him to become a medical doctor, touch lives, go into politics and spend fortunes on developmental projects.
Maduka , who holds doctorate degrees in Pharmacy, Medicine and a professorship in medical science, also presides over affairs of the Pain Institute and Medical Centre, a multi billion dollar medical and pharmaceutical conglomerate in Las Vegas, USA, as Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
He said this about Okpara, his role model; which attracted loud ovation from the ecstatic audience.
’I have never ceased from admiring Dr. Michael Okpara, the great leader, nationalist, politician and Medical Doctor like myself. I am inspired by Okpara’s developmental legacies and life as a medical doctor who embraced politics and used opportunity of his elevation to the status of premier to make the Eastern Region of Nigeria, one of the fastest growing regions in the world in the 1960s”, he noted.
“I will do all I can to follow his style and make Anambra the number one state in Nigeria if elected Governor at the November governorship election in the state”, he said further.
He also donated the sum of N50 million to support the Okpara Foundation and Verbatim News Network.
In his words, “I am donating a total of N50million to support what the Okpara Foundation and Verbatim News Network Limited in honour of our late father and leader, Michael Iheonukara Okpara”.
Dr Maduka said he feels highly honoured to be considered as philanthropist of the millennium, and explained that he keyed into the project immediately it was brought to his notice because of his respect for the man Okpara who he said was a legend.
Maduka further explained that his life as was shaped by Dr Okpara and his success in life which prompted him to study medicine as his role model, Okpara.
He further said that he sees himself as a replica of Dr Okpara judging from the very humble backgrounds which both of them had, the scholarships which they both received to study and medicine; which they both studied.
He further added that he also has some inherent qualities of Dr Okpara like resilience, commitment, candor, humanism and love for the development of his immediate environment.
He added that these were the reasons why he decided to offer himself to serve the good people of Anambra state as governor, emphasizing that he is committed to transform Anambra and take it to the next level like Dr Okpara did in the old eastern region as the premier.
Reasons why Godwin Maduka was presented with Okpara Prize as Philanthropist of the Millennium was adduced by Tobs Agbaegbu, Publisher of Verbatim Magazine who headed the event organizing committee.
In an interview with journalists in Abuja, Agbaegbu explained:
‘’There was a committee that looked at the credentials of Dr. Godwin Maduka, his vision and accomplishments. Maduka has done much that are verifiable, in areas of human capital and infrastructural development.
He is a giant in academic achievement. But the committee wanted to appreciate him more in what he did in touching lives, the philanthropy and human angle. Maduka is also a giant in this area. What he has done in years past and what he is currently doing are too numerous to talk about here. ‘’
Maduka was not the only recipient of Okpara Leadership award on June 3. Other recipients include Sen T.A Orji, Professor Ofo Iwe, Vice chancellor of the Michael Okpara university of Agriculture Umudike , Dr Bukola Saraki, former president of the senate, High Chief Ikechi Emenike and two other governorship aspirants from Anambra State, Obiora Okonkwo and George Moghalu. Other personalites who were honoured include, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor Bayelsa State, Duoye Diri and Goddy Jedy-Agba, Minister of State for Power.
Some of those who spoke at the event included Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki; and Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo.
A number of prominent personalities of South East origin stood by Maduka while he made his landmark pronouncements at the occasion. These include former Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Chairman of the Occasion and Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Senator Theodore Orji , (Ochendo Global ) and Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr.Uche-Ogah.