How Mary Odili saved my political career in 2004 –Wike


Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says Mary Odili, retiring justice of the supreme court, saved his political career in 2004.


Speaking on Sunday during Odili’s 70th birthday and retirement thanksgiving mass in Port Harcourt, Rivers capital, Wike said he cried to Odili when he got hint that his name was not included among those cleared to contest as chairmen of local councils in the state.


The governor said Odili listened to him and took the complaint to her husband, Peter Odili, then governor of the state, who resolved the matter.


“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 second tenure as chairman of my local government, Obio-Akpor,” Wike said.

“They were having lunch with her husband and the state party chairman then, Prince Uche Secondus. I was told that my name had been removed in the list. So, I ran down to government house.


“She had finished her own 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 my 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 it’s 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.


“I have seen somebody who is very compassionate and very caring. The moment you’re around her husband, she takes care of you. She sees you as her husband’s person and so she will always relate with you. Some of us are direct beneficiaries of the care through our relationship with the husband.”


Wike noted that a vital lesson he learnt from Odili is the determination to build the capacity to be successful in one’s career while not ignoring the family.


The governor commended Odili for the 44 years of meritorious public service, which he described as no mean feat.


On Thursday, the supreme court held a valedictory session  in honour of Odili, who is retiring from service.


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