Peter Odili At 74, A Priceless Gift To Humanity

By By Victor Enyinnaya on August 22, 2022

Let me say this from beginning that this write up, a well researched material should not in any way be seen or read upside down. They are true as all the records highlighted herein are all there practically. This is no praise song rather a practical one that would for many times to come continue to stand the test of time. Dr. Sir Peter Odili is a super performer of the first order.

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He loves his people and demonstrated same when he was given the mandate. Welcome to our world as you read. Note that he touched vividly all aspects of human life and its impactful nature remains dripping…….Enjoy as you have swell time reading! 

At a time in Nigeria when transformational leaders were scarce, Dr. Sir Peter Odili CON, GSSR, former executive Governor of Rivers State stands out in his achievements in the political and economic landscape of the country. As he clocked 74, the towering General deserves nothing but a compassionate rhyme as a champion for human dignity and national peace and reconciliation. He is the architect of modern River State. He is a great achiever, teacher, administrator, thinker and human capital developer of the first order.

 

No true and unbiased would be written of Rivers State without Dr. Sir Peter Odili’s name resonating loudly and clearly for all to hear and see too.

Venturing into writing on Dr. Sir Peter Odili CON, GSSR, one must take succor from the legendary/revolutionary Napoleon Bonaparte and visionary former number one citizen in Rivers State, Peter Odili CON, GSSR comes to mind or handy.

For the records, it is instructive to point out here that in terms of depth desire and drive to accomplish and ensure success. Without much ado these epic sterling and leadership qualities of Dr.Sir Peter Odili CON, GSSR shares the same birthday of August 15.  

Recall he was Born in 1948 in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Odili was welcomed to the loving home of Chief Philip Celestine and Princess Janet Okwei Odili, who, within the limits of their resources availed the youngster the very best life they could offer in a Nigeria in their level and capacity then. As every parent would hope for their children, they expected their son; Peter to become a prominent personality in the society, like mystery to them, the captivating leader’s thoughts surpassed their mind's eye.

Peter at the early age of five, enrolled in St. Michael’s School, Oguta II, and Sacred Heart School, Onitsha. He spent between both institutions duration between 1953 and 1960. He furthered to Christ the King College in Onitsha, an institution that has trained some of Nigeria’s bests and greatest minds. But Peter was not done yet with his academic exploits. He proceeded to study Medicine at the University of Nigeria, a ground where he first came in contact with his loving wife of many years, the retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Mary Odili, a newly turned septuagenarian. 

Out of the very prestigious University of Nigeria, Nusska he started the compulsory internship under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), before moving on to become a Resident Staff Physician at Medical Consultation Centre, Port Harcourt, between 1979 and 1980.

Throughout his practice there, he left indelible marks on the sands of time that were guided by his humanity and zeal to serve. This led to an even superior calling. By 1980, he had set up his private medical practice, PAMO Clinics, where he served as the Resident Clinician-in-Charge for two years. 

Possessing an unquenchable appetite for knowledge development to improve his practice and place him ahead of his colleagues, he then enrolled in a specialist programme at the University of Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. Although, a part of his goals was to be adept at his profession and edge out some of his peers, the bigger picture that compelled him was to serve his community. Therefore, after his programme in the UK, he headed back home to serve his community in Port Harcourt. 

His expertise in the medical field saw him emerge as the personal nominee of the former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, to a 10-member roundtable committee charged with the responsibility of formulating the methodology for addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in the workplace in Africa.
If Peter had a awful peculiarity, it would be one of never being satisfied with the level of impact he makes at each stage in his life. In 1988, he was elected member and leader of Rivers State Delegates to the Constituent Assembly and was elected to the National Constitutional Conference, where he served as the Chairman of the Conference Committee on State Creation. In 1992, note that he was elected as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State. At the peak of the struggle for the laying of the foundation for the Fourth Republic, Peter first served as National Vice Chairman (South-south) Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN), and later as National Secretary.

He was the Founder and Leader of Rivers Platform, in 1998; Founder and Leader, of the Restoration Team as well as the State Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); elected Executive Governor of Rivers State in 1999 and served two terms. It was in that capacity that he took the country by storm and became a allusion in the nation’s political calculations. He was at various times the National Chairman, PDP Fund Raising Committee (2000); and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Housing and Urban Renewal (2001).
Though, he has not been too active politically, his exploits are not only well documented and reference point, but his place in history is reserved. More importantly, his impactful life still resonates..

 Peter Odili remains one man who is so humble, so liberal. I mean he is everything great and good. Truth is that even Dr. Sir Peter Odili’s zealous critics admit to the fact that his period in office yielded unprecedented and solid accomplishments which have remained a yardstick for measuring performance in that resource-rich state. Before him, not only were substantial parts of Rivers State not connected by roads and electricity, Port Harcourt, the state capital, was not connected to the national grid. All these changed under him.

The National Independent Power Project (NIPP) which later became a federal fad had  Peter Odili, in his capacity as Governor of Rivers State, as one of its pioneers. Before him, also, Government House, the seat of the Governor, was no better than a guest house and that’s being benevolent. He built a grand and befitting edifice that remains a major architectural landmark.

One positive part of the Odili phenomenon is his kindness and large-warmheartedness as well as mentoring successors. In 2020, when the world was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, Odili donated Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction, Reagents, and Busters for RT-PCR COVID-19 Test, to the state government for use at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt. In addition, he donated PCR Test Machine and 3,000 test kits and reagents by Pamo Clinics and Hospitals to enhance the fight against the virus. This singular act was commended by many who borrowed a leaf from his script to impact their communities.

Turning 74 bears symbolic meaning in the life of the politician who built a revered career through extraordinary professional medical practice, attaining the respect of his political peers, and channeling his interest into championing and executing humanitarian works with far-reaching effects. Indeed, it is a moment for him to look back at his works in the past to better steer his direction in the future. 

In numerology, 74 is an angel number which signifies that tough times are coming to an end, and great things are coming to fruition. In the case of Odili, this is no guesswork. During his time in office as governor, he deployed an unusual strategy of working with adversaries. Without a doubt, this imprint he made has continued to influence how the state is being run. In other words, he has become an elder statesman whose words are valued. His impact is fast turning into a living legacy.

To be sure, these qualities exhibited by the astute leader are not just a facade for public acceptance. His ‘charity begins at home’, as he is well known for his close knitted relationship with members of his immediate and extended family. 
A philanthropist at heart, Odili understands the mechanism of wealth redistribution as a vehicle for grassroots development. Throughout the years, he has supported many families, giving them a fighting chance to come out of penury through different empowerment programs which entail the countless number of persons he helped; the school fees he has paid; the hospital bills and house rents he assists in paying; the land, the many community disputes he helped resolve and the broken homes he salvaged. 

This show of unusual love and care for others is also reflected in his immediate household. 
Married to one of the most powerful women in the country does attract its own kind of media scrutiny and sometimes, scandal. However, the pair has managed to evade the drama. Considering that the union produced four lovely children, their seemingly quiet lifestyle can only be reckoned as a feat.

While his 73rd birthday was marked by the death of his brother, Chief Fidelis Odili, his 74th is expected to be celebrated in high spirits. Despite the setbacks, it is a year when his wife, Justice Mary Odili, did not only retire from the legal practice with a spotless reputation but also joined him on the seventh floor. Indeed, history would reserve a place for the selfless leader as he climbs another step.

Looking back, at 74, Odili is certainly a fulfilled man. With his wife who rose to the peak of her career, and four wonderful children who are doing well in their chosen professions, what else could he have asked from God than a peaceful life and gratitude? He has won his sports and still touches lives. An epitome of charity, who likes sharing with majority of the people. A detribalized fellow, whose belief in one Nigeria is firmly based on equality, justice, peace etc. Congratulations Sir. Long live and More Grace!!

 

 

 

Source Daily Sports Nigeria

Posted August 22, 2022


 

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