Imo state born Prof. Alphonsus Ekwerike is the President & Clinical Director, Science Medicine Research Institute (NASA-IASC indexed Asteroids Discovery Institute, NeuroToxic Spongifibrous Syndrome Discovery Institute & unit of Neurosquatemetry & Science Medicine, Inc). A Harvard Medical School Trained Clinical Researcher & Professor of Neuroendocrinology (Cognitive Neurosquatemetry, aka Invention Technology Program), first Nigerian to discover NASA-IASC 2010TL78 & CHF1472 asteroids & an inventor of Fluorocell electricity & 38 other health / medical, educational, agriculture, automotive, products, procedures, devices & foods, etc
He spoke exclusively to NF247 from his base in America, about his drive and intention to run the affairs of the Eastern Heartland, Imo State.
NF247: How do you characterize governance in Imo state under Governor Rochas Okorocha?
PAE: Well to me, it is a democratic governance instituted by the people with their votes.
NF247: If you put it side by side with the Ikedi Ohakim administration, how well will you say Imo state has benefitted from these 2 administrations in terms of good governance?
PAE: Both leaders contributed to existence of Imo State but their respective receptions by the Imolites differs. Their style of governance differed too and their contributions to modernizing Imo. Let history judge not me. All I have always done was to pray for their success as commanded by the word of God that we should pray for our leaders.
NF247: Let’s come to you, why are you interested in joining the fray?
PAE: To be honest, I was not interested until I was challenged by someone who accused some of us of running overseas & living good lives over there, while our motherland burns & drifts from modernity to obscurity. A white American pastor who has been doing programs in Nigeria & other African countries came over to me. & said, my friend, God told me to tell you that He has prepared you to go & rebuild Nigeria. You must not ignore this call & he will give you favor & good men to help do this like the Nehemiah of the bible. As a legislative advocate to the US Congress on rare disease & tropical health, some friends, colleagues & law makers showed so much concern on the economics down fall of Nigeria & bad behaviors of some of our leaders & citizens and inquired why some of us in diaspora would not help reorganize Nigeria so that they can help us achieve greatness. Various people that I have met in the course of my STEM -Invention Technology Program lectures have asked & begged me to seek votes for position in the Nigeria governance to implement my wonderful innovative programs to help accelerate Nigerian economy. Americans love Nigeria & would want her take her leadership position in Africa in eradicating corruption, creating equal opportunities of employment & to stop the menace of her citizens rushing overseas, suffering & dying carelessly.
NF247: Why would you want to leave everything you are doing in America to run for office in Imo state?
PAE: Because I am feeling the same anguish that Nehemiah felt when he was told that the walls of Jerusalem had fallen & his ancestral sites in ruins. Same has happened to my beautiful & naturally rich treasured Nigeria. Economy in ruins, education in ruins, the country forbidden by some foreign countries that treasured & respected her in 70s & 80s.Every country in the world now is very wary of Nigerians, even at home, the young men & women are terribly deprived of every modern provisions of life & employments. Embassies in Nigeria treat them like rubbish and as a result of this, evil men are profiting from sending them to Libya & other hostile countries. There, alot of them die & others sold as slaves .Our law makers & other rulers turned their eyes the other way & did nothing quickly. Go to Malaysia, China, etc. & see the terrible conditions Nigerians are living & you will ask, why our leaders wouldn’t do something to alleviate the inhumane treatments & slavery subjections meted to them. My state Imo, suffers greatly on this & I want to be the voice & hand that would rescue & restore their dignities. At home too, the young men & women suffer the horrible unemployment & bad conditions too. i don’t that blame the executive arm of government on this but the legislators who refused to join the 21st century call for radical innovative educational curriculum in our school systems that would enable students & graduates create jobs themselves as against seeking to be employed. I have STEM invention Technology Program as my project Nehemiah’s tool to revolutionize innovation that would create surplus employments and revive the economy quickly. My inclusion in the race is a divine stewardship call & I thank God so much for the opportunity given to me in the United States Of America & favor endeavored on me by the Americans. With these unmerited blessings, I want to mentor & direct my ancestral relatives in Nigeria on the best path to quickly solve the lingering problems of rebuilding the broken economy & the worldwide deemed corrupt country.
I agreed to run too, because I discovered that the fourth estate “News Media” in civilized governance is unknown, uninvited & unrewarded in the Nigerian polity. They are treated so badly & I want to rebuild that too because as a trained journalist at the Nigerian Institute Of Journalism,Ogba Ikeja),I owe this noble profession a duty to defend, get back her respect with good pay & her rightful place as the 4th estate in this land of Nigeria. Enough of the derogation of journalists as brown envelope workers.
NF247: You have lived abroad for a long time, how frequently do you visit and how have you kept a tab on happenings in the state?
PAE: I come home every 2-3 months & have residence in the US & Nigeria. I am very informed of happenings in Nigeria because I do some charity works, training the willing ones on STEM invention Technology Program, Clinical Research courses & managed medical missions.
NF247: What are the immediate needs of Imo people as we speak?
PAE: Jobs, Jobs, jobs and I have the best of what it will take to make Imolites become job creators, technoprenuers & innovators with my STEM Invention Technology Program. We are in the 21st century & they need the 21st century jobs & not be subjected to slave masters’ labor force.
NF247: How do you hope to bridge the political divide in Imo state?
PAE: Excellent question. This bothers me alot. This political divide is the major obstacle retarding economic growth, etc in the State, where winner takes it all & make others invisible. I am not & will not be that Nigerian career politician. I believe that every citizen has something to contribute regardless of their party affiliations & as such, as a centric decimal technolitician (ITP term meaning: one who accepts another with ideas that would develop people & the nation regardless of his colour, religion, language & political linings),I will create a commission for interparty affairs & mandate all political parties to give me their best brains to serve along for the benefit of the State & people. Will initiate a monthly consultation & reviews of projects’ awards with the interparty affairs commission as to make sure that every party has a stake in the joint rebuilt projects of the state. With this, the friendly bridge would have been built & every Imolites would have equal opportunity to contribute & to prosper.
NF247: Give an insight into how you hope to tackle the issue of Poverty, Power problems, Unemployment and the Health sector?
These issues are man-made. Naturally, our land is abundantly blessed & our people highly endowed with great intelligence & stamina. Poverty shouldn’t be seen in our land. As a researcher, I discovered that we have 289 unindexed natural most needed technological, health & agricultural elements, minerals & plants that are more lucrative than oil ( that has messed this nation up instead of prospering her).I will commit an innovative workforce on these & it will boost our living standard & poverty would be gone. On note, I have visited some of our power generating plants & noticed that the poor power generation is a deliberate sabotage. I will call for building new hydropower plants, introduce renewal energies like solar, wind, fluorocell (which I invented), biogas,etc electricity so that people would have choices & this plan would steady the electricity supply & drive down the consumers’ prices. I will make it illegal for electricity companies to bill without meters as it is shamefully done now. Nigerians have suffered enough. With steady electricity supply industries, hospitals, schools, street lights, etc would function well & life would start making meaning to our citizens. Electric vehicles, trains etc would be manufactured & introduced in our streets. Old industries would be reactivated & new ones built & these would assure employments & prosperity. It is a great pity that lives of the common citizens are not protected now & our medical doctors & health workers not regarded. No serious emphasis on preventive health of the citizens. I will make the health sector vibrant like you have abroad by rehabilitating the old hospitals, build new ones if need be, equip them greatly & have four levels of health care delivery that would meet every citizen’s health need starting from the grassroots & would mandate a robust clinical & medical research education that would address our peculiar health needs & innovate new techniques & drugs to promote good health & longevity. Introduce affordable health insurance to every citizen & make sure health workers & others are paid very well & on time. Wish to make Imo state an international medical tourism center & this would stop the shameful rush overseas for medical help by our leaders & the wealthy. Would invest & mandate an evidence based traditional medicine trainings, research, licensure & practices to safe guard the lives of our citizens like the Chinese, Indians & others did. Would also create licensing trainings for our patent medicine sellers that would stop the harassments that they face now. Make Imo State the most business friendly place for investors to open businesses & this would boost employment & good livings. Open up our natural treasures, cultures, Bongo / traditional music,& notable landmarks, etc for International tourism that boost the state’s employment, economy & income. An experiment done with my introducing Bongo music to the non Nigerian US business men, professionals & government was highly received & my sponsored Owerri based Bongo artist was astonished & enquired why would white people like, dance & asked more of his music sang in Igbo language that was not translated. I told him “that’s the American spirit & love for diversified culture”. Bongo music will generate great revenue & I will invest & promote it, alongside with the nollywood movies, Nigerian music at large, sport, games & comedy, talents, etc & give them homes in Imo State.
NF247: How many Imo indigenes have benefitted from your expertise in Invention Technology?
PAE: Many both home & abroad & I have even employed one now with a postgraduate qualification in STEM Invention Technology Program as a full time lecturer at our institute at Gregory University, Uturu, Abia & another with a doctoral degree as a visiting lecturer. Many more will be employed in our Science Medicine College, Imo Claretian University to fast-track innovations in Imo. Those enrolled in my program do start earning the US dollars immediately by solving industrial & corporate business problems worldwide thru our scholars earn & learn program. Nigerians are benefitting from this & many have their inventions either made or sold to enrich themselves. Many of my Nigerian graduates are now gainfully employed overseas working in innovative tech corporations & manufacturing industries. All these highly trained skilled Nigerians & other STEM -Invention Technologists would be glad to make Imo State their homes regardless of their birth states in Nigeria or countries of origin. These alone would make Imo State the innovative center & home for employments.
NF247: You are coming from a very organized society where senior citizens are taken care of, how can we achieve that in Imo state and Nigeria in General?
PAE: One of my STEM.-Invention Technology Program graduates Dr.Oscar Atuma of the Nigeria Universities Commission,(NUC) Abuja is a doctorate in Gerontonlogy & have studied the seniors’ situation in Nigeria & have innovated an answer that I will implement in Imo State as the Chief Executive . We will have three step thru program paradigm to look after them, women & children. Every Senior would be receiving financial support, those sick would have free medical treatments & home health care services, and this would be extended to women & children. Social Security bureau will be made to take care of these, care for the disable & the unemployed. Pension payments must be made promptly to the retired.
NF247: Continuity seems to be a major issue when it comes to politics in Nigeria, how can that gap be bridged in Imo state?
PAE: It is a shame that our leaders don’t see anything good in their opponents. This is ungodly. Anyone who comes up would abandon the projects of his predecessor & start a similar one he will not complete. In Imo today, there are some structures like the 27 local government health hospitals that the current governor built that I will always praise him for starting & it is not mandatory that he must complete them. His successor should see this as a long road made short & I am the one to start this symbiotic decimal politics in Imo State & Nigeria. I will embrace & complete every good project that my predecessor started but was unable to complete it, retaining the credits to him. Nigerians should stop voting wicked & evil leaders who don’t see anything good in another man or their opponents. I will work with my opponent because I understood that our differences are temporary & they are smart brains to treasure.
NF247: Where do we draw the line between Godfatherism and political mentorship in Nigerian politics?
PAE: Simple one. Godfatherism is of two types namely Ordinate & Inordinate .Ordinate Godfather is one who finds a worthy talented person, takes his course & breed him to fame without mandating any gratification type while the Inordinate Godfather demands money, diabolic oath & subjection, he plays a slave master’s game to rob the young of his birthright.
Political mentorship is a freely given sponsorship, direction, teaching the young & freshly entrant to follow good pathways of building trust, integrity & delivery characteristics that are needed in civilized politics. Both of these people exist in Nigeria & I am so lucky to have good mentors. To draw the line between these two, I will advocate that Nigerians should disdain those who ask for money to make you & those who give you money to vote them in.Money in politics is for advertisements & campaign conveyance & not to bribe any one to either make you a win or make him or them win. This game is not a do or die thing & all should understand that. To me, if God says I will win, no amount of money given to persons against it would stop me. I will not give any one money to vote for me.
NF247: How do we re-ignite the spirit of patriotism?
PAE: By not judging any one either by their political party affiliations, tongue, religion, tribe, race, or culture etc and by allowing merits, freedom, equal opportunities reign, serving everyone & be just in my actions to others. Patriotism is like religion, everyone must be made to see God as the head in it & see yourself practice the decrees you agreed on so that others would mirror themselves thru you to conform. Imolites are true patriots & this wouldn’t be difficult to re-ignite.
NF247: What platform are you running on and how optimistic are you at the 2019 polls?
PAE:Because the world and our children wants to see a New Nigeria that can be trusted, I am aligning with the absolute new movements thru the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party ( www.anrp.org.ng). Remember, you cannot do the same thing repeatedly & expect to obtain a different result I like other political parties but the new ones hold the promise & ANRP is it, either alone or in coalitions.
NF247: Why do you think Imo state needs you?
PAE: Because I am a free born of the State, obedient, humble, cares for the well-being of all & God gifted with STEM -Invention Technology Program to breed inventors & innovators who would in turn build the 21st century graded industries,etc to manufacture products & goods that would make us the best & envy in the world.