By Omeiza Ajayi
Amid fears of a possible resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, Proprietor of the Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Centre in the United States, Dr Godwin Maduka has advised the federal government to support local research initiatives into tropical diseases and other viral infections.
At a news conference yesterday in Abuja, Dr Maduka lamented the worsening state of healthcare in the country, noting that Nigeria must develop its capacity to respond to future pandemics.
He said; “Healthcare in Nigeria is something we have to take very seriously. For that to happen, we need to go into research in terms of the tropical diseases and viral infections as we have seen with the COVID-19 so that in future if something like this happens, we will not be caught napping as experienced recently which caused a lot of panic among the populace.
“It is about time we put our heads together and changed the direction of healthcare not just in Anambra but in the whole of Nigeria. That was why we put up a 17-storey building to be able to conduct research and training of health workers. It might not be a hospital for everybody but those diseases which need experts from all over the world to work there. We already built hospitals to take care of the local community.
“I am calling on the federal government to assist us in our quest to build a research hub, just like you have Cleveland clinic in America which they use for research. Our healthcare delivery is not at par with the rest of the world and the time has come to revolutionise the sector to reduce dependency on other countries”.
Maduka also advised well-established Nigerians in the diaspora to come back home and contribute their quota to national development.
On debates regarding zoning of political offices in the country, Dr Maduka who is also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP from Anambra State, called on the political class to de-emphasize tribalism in Nigeria’s leadership recruitment process.
He said Nigeria needs to strive towards having a perfect union, saying until then, zoning cannot be waived aside.
“What we need to introduce into politics is accountability. Let us not make politics as a career. It should be about rendering selfless party.
“You see some regions in Nigeria, sometimes they have their representatives in the Senate but you go back home and you meet so many problems that no one has tackled.
“We are all Nigerians. It is about equity and fairness. We are still a young nation. Some older countries have still not gotten it right. We are all the same in Nigeria. The moment we start dividing the house of Nigeria, we would encounter serious challenges. Let us use what unites us more than what divides us. Southeast is part of Nigeria. If I get a president from Sokoto, is he not a Nigerian. This is one country, one race. The reason why zoning is an issue is because we are still growing but we have to grow fast. Tribalism has to die quickly because I believe tribalism is really a problem. How can you go to college or university and still be tribalistic? I think we should close down such institutions because you did not learn anything.
“If there is an ongoing debate about not being represented by one region, do you really want them to go home and not feel that they are being marginalised? Until we get that perfect union, maybe they should get their own quota” he stated.