Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike, Ph.D (French & Comparative Literature), D. Litt, LL.D. (honoris causa), is a distinguished but self-effacing public figure, erudite scholar, literary critic, author, journalist, a humanist, employer of labour and now an elder statesman. He is an illustrious son of Amuda Isuochi, Abia State ,who was educated in Nigeria, Canada, The United States of America, France and Senegal (FAN). He taught African and African American literatures 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. Prof Madubuike has helped to shape the Character of the Nigerian Society in various capacities.
He was a Pioneer Member of the Old Imo State House of Assembly (1979) from where he was selected for higher appointments; first as a Commissioner of Finance in Imo State, and at the Federal level, he served as the Minister of Education (1979-81),and Minister of Health (1995-1997). He was at a time the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Daily Champion and Sunday Champion, two 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, and also a member of the 2014 Constitutional Conference. For the past three decades and half, Prof. Madubuike’s scholarly works have illuminated the entire Francophone and Anglophone literary and cultural landscapes. He is the quintessential poet-politician, following the footsteps of one of his role models, the great Leopold-Sedar Senghor of Senegal.
He is also a member of the bolakeja critics, a troika of literary criticism, an appellation from the inscrutable pens of our own Wole Soyinka. He is a cultural nationalist, one who extols the beauty and values of the African heritage as well as the positive elements in lgbo culture. He chairs the Igbo Renaissance Centre at the Gregory University, Uturu, South East of Nigeria, as well as IRUKA, a think tank based at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndiufu- Alike ,in Ebonyi State. During his tenure as the Minister of Education in Nigeria, he was instrumental to the policy of establishing Federal Universities of Science and Technology in Nigeria, and also provided the platform for States and individuals that could afford the resources to establish universities with the approval of the National Universities Commission. These measures helped to revolutionize the status of higher education in Nigeria. It was also during his tenure that Open University, one of Shagari’s pet projects was established. As the Honourable Minister of Health, he conducted the first ever National Health Summit in the country, revived the comatose National Health Insurance Scheme, implemented the National Health Policy, decentralized the World Health Organization office into the six geopolitical zones and encouraged Nigerian Universities to award Master’s Degree in Public Health.
A prolific writer and an outstanding critic of African Literature, his works include: A Hand Book of African Names (1976); Towards The Decolonization of African Literature, Co-authored with Chinweizu and Onwuchekwa Jemie (1980); Ighota Abu Igbo(Understanding Igbo Poetry) (1981); The Sociology of the Senegalese Novel (1983); Sequences (A Collection of Poems) (2005); Nigeria and the Lugardian Hubris (Vision, Crises and Prospects); Politics, Leadership and Development in Nigeria (2007); Literature, Culture and Development: The African Experience (2007); Die Oh Death (Or The Musings of a Split Conscience & Other Poems (2010); The Igbo Challenge in Nigeria: (Beyond Rancour and Recrimination (2012). He is also the author of the masterpiece; I Also Served A Memoir of Things Nearly Forgotten (Isuochi: Nine Jewels on the Hill (Fragments of History, Society and Culture, 2018); Essays Executive, (Due Soon); among other literary works too numerous to mention. Professor Madubuike is a recipient of the Mary Slessor Distinguished Award from the University of Calabar in 1998 and honorary Doctorate Degrees from different universities including Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ebonyi State. In 1991 he was named an American International Scholar by the United States International Agency which took him to major and leading newspaper tabloids in the United States of America.
He is a strong member of Ohanaeze NdiIgbo, a leading figure in the Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt Forum. Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike is a distinguished community leader with different chieftaincy titles; Onunaekwuruoha Isuochi, Omemma Nneato, Enyi Abia, Aha Eji Amatu of Ihitte, Egbenduru of Atta, Onwa Umuaku, Ezi Enyi of Alaike, Obowu, Ebekue Dike of Ndawa, among other traditional titles across lgbo land. He is a Christian, a Knight of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, Founder of The Ihechukwu Madubuike Centre for Social Development, which has given over forty bursaries to indigent and not so-indigent students to complete their university studies. Founder, Igbo Language Academy, Founder and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ihechukwu Madubuike Institute of Technology (IMIT) Nkwoagu- Amuda Isuochi, Abia State. He is listed in International Who Is Who, and in Africa Who Is Who. He is happily married with children.