- Abe congratulates ex-gov at 70
Former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, has called on the people of the state, irrespective of political affiliations, to totally support Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in his second term bid to consolidate on the good works he is doing in the state.
This is coming as the state governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has congratulated Odili on his 70th birthday.
Also, the Chaplain of Our Lady of Holy Chaplaincy of Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Rev. Monsignor Pius Kii, has stated that the lowest point in the 70 years of Odili was when his political godson, Rotimi Amaechi attempted to destroy his political life through a kangaroo Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Odili and Kii spoke at the Special Thanksgiving Mass for the 70th birthday celebration of Odili organised by the Rivers State Government at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Port Harcourt wednesday.
The former Rivers State governor, declared: “Let me use this opportunity to request our people, all Rivers men and women, our chiefs and the entire political class, everybody that is proud to be identified and called a Rivers man or woman, to give your total support to this governor.
“I am not saying it from a political position. I am talking from the position of an elder statesman. This is because, with his leadership, we can achieve total cohesion and unity of our people. Once that is achieved, the sky is the take off point for the New Rivers State that he is building.”
Odili described Wike as a loyal politician who is outstanding in his commitment to the development of the state.
“I have been governor, I have worked under governors and I have seen governors after me. This man is unique.
“Just to tell you that of all the people we have worked politically with, from way back in the 1980s – Nobody in the political terrain can compete with this governor,” Odili said.
He thanked Wike for initiating the celebration of his 70th birthday, noting that the family had planned for a private low-key celebration.
In his homily, the Chaplain of Our Lady of Holy Chaplaincy of Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Rev Monsignor Pius Kii, said despite betrayals by the likes of Amaechi, Governor Wike stood by Odili.
Kii said: “One of Odili’s lowest moments was when he was dragged by one of his erstwhile sons to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by the Rotimi Amaechi administration aimed at damaging his reputation and preventing him from holding political offices.
“Despite these betrayals, we are grateful to God that some remain loyal sons, particularly Wike and countless others in the state and in the country.
“Having the love of one like Wike is having the love of many. For one with Wike is majority. For in him, God put 10 men in one man. Odili, be rest assured that those who are for you and with you are more than those who have abandoned you”, Kii said.
The cleric declared that Odili spiritualised political language, noting that he invoked God at all times. He added that Odili never used his investments and appearances in churches for political opportunities.
Kii said Wike has taken over from Odili, developing the Christian faith and embarking on massive developmental projects.
Meanwhile, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has also congratulated Odili on his 70th birthday.
Abe in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Parry Saroh Benson in Port Harcourt, described Odili as a living legend whose exemplary lifestyle has impacted positively on many.
“On behalf of my wife, Bariyaah, we join your family, friends, well-wishers and indeed millions of Nigerians to celebrate with you on this auspicious occasion of your 70th birthday.
“Your invaluable contributions to the development of Rivers State and the nation speak volume. As you continue in your selfless service to God and man, we pray that the Almighty God will grant you many more years of robust health and personal fulfillment.”