Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says that he remains grateful to Justice Mary Odili for her timely intervention that saved his political career in 2004.
Governor Wike spoke of this aspect of his political experience at the 70th birthday and retirement thanksgiving mass of Justice Mary Odili as Justice of the Supreme Court, that held at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, (CIWA) in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
The Rivers State governor recalled how he cried to Justice Mary Odili when he got the hint that his name was not included among those cleared to contest either as first term or second term chairmen of local councils in the state
“In 2004, that time her husband was the governor, so she was going to Bori Camp for women empowerment scheme. I was to run for the second tenure as chairman of my local government (Obio-Akpor).
“Now, they were having lunch with her husband and the former State party chairman then, Prince Uche Secondus. And, I was told that my name had been removed from the list. So, I ran down to Government House.
“She had finished her lunch, left her husband and was entering the vehicle. I said mummy I’m finished. She asked what happened, I said they’ve removed my name.
“She ran back straight to her husband and informed him. Her husband asked who removed his name. At that time, Secondus had left. The husband then called the security at the gate, they stopped Secondus and asked him to come back.
“That was how I went back as second term chairman. For me, I can’t talk about my growth without mentioning her. If she was not around that day, to see the governor, you know is not an easy thing. Her being around that particular day saved my career in politics. And so that was how I grew from there to become what I am today.”
Governor Wike commended Justice Mary Odili for the 44 years of meritorious public service, which he described as no mean feat.
Justice Mary Odili in her address described the joy she felt as unspeakable and a thing of honour to have Governor Wike, as a sitting governor, doing a vote of thanks in her honour.
According to her, she and her spouse, Dr Peter Odili have lots of things to always thank God and will remain grateful to him because he gave them countless triumphs despite the challenges they encountered.
“The good Lord knows that Peter and I don’t know how to properly thank Him. Our journey in life has been such that the good Lord has always been there. There have been challenges no doubt, but the good Lord did not promise us that we will not have challenges, tribulations or difficulties. But the good Lord has always stood by us and made us prevail in all those trials and tribulations.”