Dr. Julius Kpaduwa is an ardent believer who has positively contributed to the development of Nigeria. Dr. Kpaduwa came to the United States in 1971 to study medicine and has been practicing for the last 34 years. During this time he has kept true to his roots by offering to serve Imo State by running for Governor in 2003. Even after his failed gubernatorial bid, he accepted to serve as Chairman of the Board of Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu from 2009-2011. As President of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in America (ANPA) from 2008-2010 he ensured that the Association collaborated with Nigerian health care officials in elevating the state of the practice of medicine and oversaw annual medical missions to Nigeria to deliver state of the art medical care to hundreds of poor patients in several communities.
Born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria to parents from Mbano, Imo State, young Julius attended Igbobi College, Yaba Lagos State for his secondary education before coming to America in 1971 for the purpose of becoming a doctor. He received his undergraduate degree from Berea College in Kentucky and proceeded to study Medicine at Howard Medical School from where he graduated in 1979. In his 34 years of practice as a Doctor, Julius Kpaduwa is well-accomplished and is very actively engaged in civic affairs.
In this interview with Life and Times Publisher, Chike Nweke; Dr. Kpaduwa talks about his background, family, growing up years, professional accomplishments, and hopes and dreams for Nigeria:
Tell us a little bit about your educational and family background.
Answer: I was born in Abeokuta and raised in Lagos. My father was an Army male nurse and was posted to different parts of Nigeria during his distinguished service at the Nigerian military. He was however in Lagos for most of his career and that was where all my other siblings were born and raised. This background is responsible for my unique global Nigerian perspective. I attended Saint Patrick’s primary school in Yaba Lagos where just about every Nigerian ethnic group was represented. I also obtained my secondary education at Igbobi College in Lagos. That school also had just about all the Nigerian ethnic group represented. You can see how I fit in very well with all ethnic groups in Nigeria.
In 1967, our family left Lagos because of the pending civil war to return to the South East. That was an eye opener and the move was responsible for most of my Igbo culture. I then became a full Nigerian. My father was posted to the garrison in Enugu where I stayed briefly before proceeding to Mary Knoll College in Okuku Ogoja for my higher school education. That was truncated in June 1967 at the beginning of the civil war. I then returned to my home town Ezike Mbano in Imo State for the duration of the war. That was where my ‘Igbo Kwenu” profile was nurtured and cemented. From there I joined the Biafran Army and was stationed in Obosi until the end of the war. I then returned to Igbobi College Lagos to continued my interrupted higher school education. I was soon admitted to Berea College in Kentucky where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in three and half years. My medical school career started in 1975 at Howard University medical school and I then moved to State University Teaching hospital in Down State New York, Brooklyn for my Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. I finished in 1983 and moved to Los Angeles in January 1984. That is my life history in a nut shell.
In 2003 you ran for Governor of Imo State, Nigeria. You were once Chairman of Nigerian Democracy Task force, you are a very respected community leader in the Nigerian Community here in the United States and you help indigenes of your local community of Mbano carry out several humanitarian projects back home on a regular basis. Despite your stellar professional achievements you have refused to rest in the comfort that your professional accomplishments have given you. What is your driving motivation to serve the people?
Answer: The motivating force for my being is my positive impact on society in general. I would have failed miserably if I conquered the world and the world had nothing to show for it. That was why I decided to run for the Governorship of Imo State in 2003. As you may know, I almost lost my life in that effort but I was immediately flown to the USA for medical treatment. . Thanks to Almighty God and the good old USA where I was immediately flown for medical treatment. I spent a year and half undergoing multiple surgical operations and rehabilitation and disability. I am grateful to Almighty God. The earlier medical missions that we under took motivated me to seek the highest political office in the State. The deplorable medical conditions that still exist today were emotionally moving. I thought that I could use that executive position to positively impact the lives of the people. We in the Diaspora have a lot to give. We are fortunate to live in the most advanced society in the world and we have
take back home. I very strongly believe this. Someone asked me if I will do it all over again and I said yes! I will do it in a heartbeat if I thought that there is even a 50% chance of success. Of course all is in the hands of God.