Prof Ihechukwu Madubuike
He is Nigeria’s two-time Minister of Education (1979 – 1981) and Minister of Health (1995 – 1997), founder of Ihechukwu Madubuike Institute of Technology (IMIT), a Polytechnic based in Abia State. Professor Ihechukwu Chiedozie Madubuike, Ph.D. (French & Comparative Literature), D.Lit. (honoris causa), taught African and African-American literature in some American universities before returning to Nigeria where he, at different times, held various important political and administrative positions at the State and Federal levels. In Imo State, he served as the Commissioner for Finance, and at the Federal level, he served as the Minister of Education (1979-81) and as the Minister of Health (1995-1997).
He was at a time the Managing Director and Editor-in-chief of Daily Champion and Sunday Champion, two national tabloids based in Lagos, Nigeria. He was a member of the 1995 Nigerian Constitutional Conference that gave birth to the highly controversial 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Under him as Minister of Education, Nigeria’s first universities of Science and Technology was established. He also set up guidelines for the establishment of state and private universities in the country before he voluntarily resigned as Minister on matters of principle following the break-up of the accord between the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP).
As the Minister of Health, Dr. Madubuike organized the first-ever National Health Summit from which the National Health Plan (1996-2010) was developed. The National Health Policy was also reviewed and updated following the Health Summit. Dr. Madubuike also succeeded in persuading the then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, to launch the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) following which the enabling legislation was eventually enacted. His tenure witnessed an unprecedented period of peace in the health industry, which contributed to the many successes he recorded in the ministry. For these successes, the 50th National Council of Health honoured him with the Purposeful Leadership Award.
Professor Madubuike has also served as a consultant to national and international agencies and is contributing to the development of health education in the country through his many literary and business activities. In 2000 he served as a Consultant to CEDPA, a population agency working with the USAID, and drew up a pilot anti-HIV/AIDs programme for Ghana. He has also served as a Consultant to the Senate Committee on Riots, Crises, and Conflicts in Nigeria (2001). He was conferred with the prestigious award of Distinguished Alumnus of the State University of New York, Buffalo, his alma mater, in 2001. He is also the recipient of the Mary Slessor Distinguished Merit Award for Services to Humanity from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. Professor Madubuike is a recognized literary critic.
As a renowned scholar and prolific writer, some of his publications include: A Hand Book of African Names (1976); The Sociology of the Senegalese Novel (1983); Toward the Decolonization of African Literature, co-authored with Chinweizu and Onwuchekwa Jemie (1980); Ighota Abu Igbo (Understanding Igbo Poetry) – 1981; Sequences (A Collection of Poems) – 2005; Literature, Culture and Development: The African Experience (2007);
Politics, Leadership and Development in Nigeria (2007); Die Oh Death (Or the musings of a split conscience $ other poems) – 2010; Nigeria and The Lugardian Hubris (2014); The Igbo Challenge in Nigeria, Beyond Recrimination and Rancour (2014)
He is the Director of the Igbo Renaissance Centre at the Gregory University, Uturu, South East of Nigeria; and the founder, Chairman and financier of Ihechukwu Madubuike Centre For Social Development, a rural-based organization for the empowerment of the underprivileged. The Centre has given bursaries, scholarships, and employment to youths from the community over several years.
Professor Ihechukwu Chiedozie Madubuike is the “Onunekwuruoha”, “Isuochi”, and “Omenma” of Abia Na Imo – highly revered chieftaincy tities. He is a Paul Harris Fellow and a Knight of John Wesley. He was also a member of the 2014 National Conference.