BY DOTUN IBIWOYE
Professor Peter Uchenna Nwangwu, the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC invented a screening methodology for a drugs that can cure heart attack in 1976 and he is presently regarded as one of the top 10 most educated pharmacologists in the world.
He returned to Nigeria five years ago, after 34 years of professional life in the United States as a pharmacist, university professor, medical scientist, inventor, industrialist and entrepreneur . At Present, a professor of pharmacology, toxicology and clinical pharmacy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nwangwu started the first pharmaceutical manufacturing company owned by a black man in the United States.
In an international reference book published in the U.S by Greenwood Press “The Nigerian-Americans”, Nwangwu, along with Hakeem Olajuwon and Phillip Emeagwali were among the 12Nigerians who were selected and documented as Nigerians who have made the greatest positive impact and contributions to the American society.
In this interview with vanguard, speaks on his ambition and the way forward for the country. Excerpts:
Having spent over three decades of your professional life in the United States and being new in Nigerian politics and system, what impact do you intend to make if elected as president?
There is a specific need to stimulate and facilitate integrity, accountability and the rule of law in Nigeria at all levels.
I want to drive establishment of the appropriate infrastructure to support a potent economic development enterprise everywhere in the nation, expand and diversify sources of national revenue, create a climate for new and technology- driven research base which will foster an entrepreneurial culture.
America was good to me in the 34 years that I lived there. I was also wise and decent, so I saved some of the money I made there. I am very comfortable and do not need another penny in my life; therefore I am not going to the presidency for money. I want to serve my people and will give my whole heart and energy to doing so.
How will your numerous professional qualifications and international awards compliment your leadership style and solve Nigeria’s problems?
As an educated person with four earned doctorate degrees, I shall articulate and will champion causes that will uplift the life of the common man in every aspect of life in contemporary society. There is a need for a national voice for change, justice, rule of law, and equal opportunity for all, that the common man in the Nigerian society will be proud of always.
Educated President equals educated service to the nation, with proper programme planning and priorities. In addition to my unique education, which include a masters degree and four earned doctorate degrees, I have practical experience as a seasoned and respectable professor, administrator, industrialist and entrepreneur who will use his diverse relevant experiences to enforce proper programme planning and priorities in our short term and long term national development goals.
We must clean up the injustice and decadence inside universities because it is a breeding ground for our new leaders. A typical prisoner in America is treated with more respect than a typical undergraduate student in a Nigerian university. How can we treat our future leaders worse than America treats her prisoners? Nigerians have the right to decent and functional university education.
Problems of accessibility and affordability of university education in Nigeria, as well as abuse of students in many diverse ways, will be dissolved by my administration.
How do you intend to achieve this?
One does not need to be a politician to administer potent and effective programmes that will transform Nigeria. We need a fine statesman, not a politician, to save Nigeria. David was a mere shepherd boy when God chose him over the politician Saul to become a potent king in Israel. Nehemiah was a servant in a foreign land when his passion and sadness for the desolation and depravity in Jerusalem propelled him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and serve as governor/president of Judah.
These are a few examples of potent statesmen, not politicians, that God used to rebuild their nation. Nigeria must be saved. I invite you to the quiet battle and revolution to save Nigeria. Mobilize your friends, family and associates in the battle to save Nigeria for posterity. This battle call must be sustained until Nigeria is free from the clutches of arrogant bad leaders. If it does not happen in 2011, it will happen in 2015.
So the health and the safety of Nigerians is your priority?
At John Hopkins university, genetically modified bacteria was used to sabotage the life cycle of the malaria parasite. Nigeria cannot sit on the passenger seat with malaria vaccine development, because malaria kills more people in Nigeria every year than the rest of the world combined.
If we are indeed interested in preventive healthcare and protection of life in Nigeria, then we must sanitize Nigerian roads, because more adult lives are lost in unnecessary accidents each year on Nigerian roads than combination of the top five adult medical illnesses in Nigeria.
There should be speed-limits on Nigerian roads which are vigorously enforced. Driver’s licence should not be sold on demand to illiterates who know nothing about driving or standard courtesies required of every road user. Driver education and practical training is a compelling need in Nigeria for protection of life on Nigerian roads, as an important preventive healthcare policy in Nigeria.
The recent revolution in Tunisia which has spread to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and now Libya has made people to feel that the revolution is not far Nigeria with our own style of democracy?
The mind set of selflessness are the most important quality we must seek in our next President, and all leaders we elect to serve Nigeria. Selfish people care nothing about the poor and ordinary Nigerians; instead they amass wealth for themselves to the point of stupidity and foolish behavior in pursuit of their greed and selfishness. Such people can only continue to destroy Nigeria.
A democratic society is characterized by the following: Political Leaders and representatives selected through elections are completely answerable and accountable to the people, Individual freedom and personal liberties are guaranteed by the rule of law and a sense of equity, social justice and equality in the mind set and lifestyle of both leaders and citizens is a fundamental requirement for democracy.
By due reflection on the above truths about democracy, it is obvious that Nigeria is not a democratic society. We talk about democracy but do not live in democracy, and have never experienced true democracy as a nation.
The grassroots in Nigeria are even denied their fundamental right to elect their own leaders. We witness widespread selection and imposition of candidates in primaries by the leadership of all parties in Nigeria. We witness aspirants, even presidential aspirants, who shamelessly bribe delegates to secure their votes.
It is an open secret in society that the vote of the delegates go to the highest bidder, not necessarily the most qualified person to do the job. A variety of mechanisms are available to party officials to manipulate votes with impunity.
Where is the democracy? What do we know of a democratic society? As president of Nigeria, I will teach the nation through my example the true meaning of democracy. I shall allow the nation to experience authentic democracy at all levels as a way of life in society.
Don’t you feel that the quiet battle and revolution to save Nigeria can escalate to something else?
The quiet battle and revolution to save Nigeria that I an say means that we are not going to carry guns and any other weapon. A revolution cannot escalate if you know what you want. The power of our votes is going to be our quiet revolution.
A quiet battle and revolution to save Nigeria depicts casting of votes on information. When informed the people can start a revolution voting for a credible candidate and take the power.
Man-made evils in our society have caused Nigeria to be classified as a failed state. There are too many evils, injustice, and reckless abuse of the law in all segments of our Society. Nigeria has been held hostage by a few bad people who arrogate to themselves the right to decide what happens in the country. As a result of the disjointed society and the primitive life, most Nigerians who have the opportunity to run away from Nigeria have done so.
Millions of Nigerians are scattered all over the world, in many cases, against their will and desire. Many have raised children in foreign lands who have never visited Nigeria as a result of their fear of the many evils in the country. Generations of Nigerians have been lost permanently in foreign lands: they have never visited Nigeria and will never visit Nigeria. How can we allow a few arrogant Nigerians to drive away and scatter millions of Nigerians in foreign lands against their will? How long will it happen?
We can either continue to run away to foreign lands, sometimes under hostile conditions, or we can take a strong stand and pay the price to confront and fight against evil men and the evil culture they have enthroned in the society. Nigeria can be cleaned up. Nigeria must be cleaned up.