Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that he will remain grateful to Justice Mary Odili for her timely intervention that saved his political career in 2004.

Wike said he cried to Justice Odili when he discovered that his name was excluded from those cleared to contest as chairmen of local councils in the State

The Governor said Mrs.Odili listened to him and took the complaint to her husband, Dr. Peter Odili, who was the Governor of Rivers State then.

Wike spoke at the thanksgiving to mark the 70th birthday of Justice Odili and her retirement as Justice of the Supreme Court, at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, (CIWA) in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

The Governor explained that the manner Justice Mary Odili presented the matter got her husband acting on it immediately.


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He said her husband first invited the then Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Uche Secondus, to confirm the observation and thereafter put a call across to the then National Secretary of the PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor.

He said: “In 2004, that time the 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).

“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 in the list. So, I ran down to Government House.

“She has 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 his name. At that time, Secondus had left. The husband then called the security at the gate, they stopped Secondus and ask 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.”

Wike said he learnt a vital lesson from Mrs. Odili that determination to build the capacity to be successful in one’s career while not ignoring giving requisite attention to the family.

He said Justice Odili maintained a good balance that made her succeed both in her career as a legal practitioner, a mother and wife in the family.

He said Justice Odili remained an embodiment of care and compassion because she treated everybody with dignity.

The Governor said: “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 commended Justice Odili for the 44 years of meritorious public service, which he described as a no mean feat.

In his homely, the chaplain of the Chaplaincy at CIWA, Very Rev. Monsignor Pius Kii, spoke on on the physical and eternal benefits Christians derived from loving God, one another and their enemies.

In her speech, Justice Odili, 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.

She said: ““The good Lord knows that Peter and I don’t know how to properly thank God. Our journey in life has been such that the good Lord has always been there.

“There has 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.”

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