By: Onwurah Chinonso Anthony
… No one can stop the hand of God.
When you critically look into the life of the Harvard trained Medical Doctor – Dr. Godwin Maduka, who hails from Umuchukwu, a pristine community formerly known as Nkerehi in the Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, you’ll see cum agree with me that the man is carrying a Divine Mandate and Divine Destiny, just like the biblical David, Joseph and Jesus Christ. Dr. Maduka has few similarities with the afore-mentioned characters in the Bible.
Due to the outright misinformation and campaign of calumny being peddled by unscrupulous elements on different social media platforms towards the person of Dr. Maduka as it concerns the changing of the name of his town from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu. The onus lies on us to put the records straight in the court of public opinion.
I’ll just summarize the story so that my audience can easily read and decipher. Then I’ll advise anybody concerned to do an underground investigation in the community and ascertain the truth by him/herself.
As we all know, the Umuchukwu community formerly known as Nkerehi was in gross darkness and deplorable condition. The people lived in destitution and abject penury. They were predominantly native doctors- you can imagine the condition of a community that virtually everyone there was a native doctor. There was no modern infrastructure, no light, no education, no progress.
In those days, notably late 90’s and early 2000’s, the entire people living in the community couldn’t collectively contribute N100,000 (One hundred thousand Naira). One can envisage the condition of such a community. The richest men in the community in those days in the 90’s were O’ Chekwas who was into building construction(Terrazzo), D.O. Nwele who was into Palm oil and kernel production then in Aba, Masco Int’l who was dealing on glass and Onyekwere Onye who was a notable native doctor. These men were rich during their time and contributed their own quotas to help the community but the community was still in gross darkness and pangs of underdevelopment. No civilization in the community yet.
Going forward, scholarship opportunity came into the community and Dr. Maduka wrote the Harvard University scholarship exam alongside his peers and as God has destined it, Maduka was chosen. He then needed funds to facilitate this scholarship and move to the US to further his education. His late elder brother ‘Hyman’ who was at Abuja that time doing panel beating work then sold off his all and raised the sum of five thousand naira(N5000) which was used to sponsor Maduka to the US.
Dr. Maduka’s story started after he returned from the USA after he initially completed his first educational programme. Money was already trickling in and he had started engaging in some acts of philanthropy in order to bring the much needed development in the community. *Note that Dr. Maduka wasn’t the first to sojourn to the USA from the community. The first man to embark on such journey to the USA from the community then was Professor Igwike, who the community contributed funds to send him to the USA so as to bring development to the community.*
As time went by, the people of the community was getting tired of their poverty and destitution and they began to ask important questions as it concerns their condition. Searching for solutions in varying ways. In one of the occasions, some people residing outside the community brought a ‘Man of God’ to the serene town for liberation prayers and crusade. In relation to that, the community embarked on intense fasting and prayers as directed by the same ‘Man of God’. It was during the prayer session that the ‘Man of God’ asked “who can tell him the meaning of Nkerehi” the name of the community as at that time. Unfortunately, no one could come up with a clear meaning of the name ‘Nkerehi’, the man of God then told them that their problems had everything to do with that name. The man of God told them that they need a new name, so he suggested they add God’s own people in parentheses under Nkerehi to their name. That is Nkerehi (God’s Own People).
The community agreed upon and started changing all their signposts to bear the new name.
*Note that Dr. Maduka was in the USA and didn’t know about all these as at that time.*
In one of the occasions/festivities, Dr. Maduka in his usual manner returned home and one morning he was in their church for ‘morning mass’. After the mass, some members of the community approached him and started intimating him about what happened in the community while he was away, how they brought a ‘Man of God’ who prayed for the liberation of the community and directed them to change the name of the community in which he then suggested to them to add (God’s own People) to their name in order to break the evil associated with the community. The same people (Elders of the community) that approached Dr. Maduka asked him if he could suggest any befitting name for their community since the ‘Man of God’ has directed them to change their name. There and then, Dr. Maduka asked them to translate ‘God’s own People’ to Igbo, and they collectively translated it as ‘Umu-chukwu’, and it was like a wonder to them all, they all accepted the name and went to the local government headquarters Umunze to make it official. Dr. Maduka assisted them with funds with which they did all that was required and the community started bearing Umuchukwu afterwards.
Dr. Maduka went back to the US with the burden to change his community for good, to bring meaningful development to his people.
As usual, in one of his many returns, Dr. Maduka kick-started major projects in the community and this time around problem began. Some people started questioning his moves especially as it related to the new name of the community. This brought divisions in the community and greater number of the people in the community agreed to continue bearing their new name (Umuchukwu), while few (The Igwikes) insisted that they will go back to their old name (Nkerehi). This bickerings led them to the appropriate authorities (The then Anambra State government led by the former Governor Peter Obi). The State government came and duly conducted a referendum in order to gauge the feelings of the people concerning the controversies trailing the new name, after all the whole rigorous process, court cases and all that.
The referendum had it that the new name of the community should be called ‘Umuchukwu’. It was expected that the results of the referendum would bring to an end unnecessary issue of the name change.
But, it did not. The problem here is lucid and clear – Why is it Dr. Maduka that will bring light to the community instead of them? He wasn’t the first to travel to the USA neither was he the first to be educated. Why should it be the poor Madukas that will lead the developmental strides of the community? That’s the question from those in the community that never wanted the community to see the light – (The Igwikes). *Note that the Igwikes and the Madukas have the same maternal consanguinity*
The change of the community name is not the issue at all, Anambra State government has conducted referendum in the community and the people of the community unanimously agreed to the name ‘Umuchukwu’.
There have been plethora of court cases as regards this name change and those in support of the name ‘Umuchukwu’ have always won, from High court to the Appeal Court and now to the Supreme Court. The funny thing is that anywhere this matter was brought to, the name Umuchukwu has always been upheld.
God has purpose for every human being and there are some of us that are carrying an important mandate in life just like the biblical David, Joseph and Jesus Christ and many others.
In the case of David; David killed Goliath. Read 1 Samuel, Chapter 17 and 18 – *Upon David’s return from battle, the women praise him in song: Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands. implying that David is the greater warrior. Saul fears David’s growing popularity and henceforth views him as a rival to the throne.*
In the case of Joseph; God used him to preserve Jacob’s family who were to become Israel. He was to use Israel to reveal himself to the nations of the world through the Scriptures but more importantly to bring salvation to the world through his son Jesus.
Read Genesis 37 – 50.
While in the case of Jesus Christ, God used him to save the world. Read Matthew 2: 1-2 for the account of Jesus Christ.
One important factor we need to point out here is ‘Destiny’. God created us for different purposes and no one can stop the purpose of God.
Another important factor we should note here is ‘Hate’. All these three characters we saw here were all hated even though they were a major instrument in the hands of God for delivering the people. That is the way God orchestrated it.
I’m not surprised at Dr. Maduka’s case
Dr. Maduka is fulfilling his Destiny, which transcends human machinations and evil plots. It will happen again in this 2021 Anambra Gubernatorial Election.
Why the bad eggs and the mischievous elements in the community are against Dr. Maduka is simply because they couldn’t compete as well as stop him. This time around they are almost mad and cannot imagine him becoming the next Governor of our dear state… Enough of the misinformation and mudslinging. The die is cast!