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Posted by By Chris Ikwunze, Port Harcourt on 2007/11/27 | Views: 948 |


Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has sensationally revealed how former Governor Peter Odili persuaded him to go to court to challenge his substitution by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) only for him (Odili) to turn back and accuse him of betrayal.

• Odili asked me to go to court and turned round to mastermind my difficulties

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has sensationally revealed how former Governor Peter Odili persuaded him to go to court to challenge his substitution by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) only for him (Odili) to turn back and accuse him of betrayal.

"When my name was substituted by the PDP for that of my cousin, Sir Celestine Omehia, I took it with philosophical calmness, but he Odili said ‘No, go to court’ and I went to court on his instruction" Amaechi said, adding that he has no room for betrayal in his dictionary.

The governor who spoke during a stakeholders meeting attended by all that matters in the state, including former Governor Rufus Ada George, Odili’s former boss, said that although he had disagreed with Odili but that 60-70 percent of his success is creditted to God and Odili.
He spoke of the hardship he passed through to get justice. "I was broke and I cried before my children for the first time. For six months I could not leave my hotel room in Ghana to go outside and within those months, my family were staying in one room in England."

How I went to court
Gov. Amaechi said that he met Dr. Peter Odili in 1987 after his university and by February 2007 they had disagreed. He said that they disagreed because of what did. "I accept the fact that Odili did a lot for me. In fact, 60-70 percent of my success which I credit them to God, I also credit them to Dr. Odili, whether anybody like it or not," he said.
The governor said that he and his former boss disagreed because he was not ready initially to go to court when his name was substituted. "I told him, ‘Your Excellency, I wont go to court, but he said, No go to court, and I went to court out of his instruction," Amaechi said.

He said before he went to court he reminded Odili of his principles in life that he tries to be as honest as possible. "So I asked him, ‘your Excellency, do you want me to withdraw so that I won’t go to court, but he said no. I asked him four times and his answer were no. The last time I asked was the day I was leaving for Ghana and he told me not to withdraw."

Amaechi said there was never a day Odili called him on phone and told him to withdraw. He said, "I heard from people that Odili told me to withdraw and I refused. The day I took the decision to go to court no other person was there, it was only Dr. Odili and I. It was he Odili, who took me to Ghana in government private jet. If he wanted me to withdraw he would have told me in the plane and I would have stopped."

The governor said that when he heard people say that he betrayed Odili, by not withdrawing, he felt very sad because he never betrayed the man and has no room for betrayal in his dictionary. "I have no room for dishonesty in my dictionary. I will stand so till I die, even if I die out of poverty," Amaechi said.

Assets and property seized
Amaechi said that immediately he left government he was flat broke as Odili ensured that he was pauperize by withholding all his allowances and all the money he was supposed to be paid. He also said that all the property they sold to him were confiscated. He said he didn’t have money to pursue his case in the court, but was determined.

He said that by the time he left the country to Ghana the Rivers State House of Assembly, which he headed, had been broken into two factions, but that the majority of members were loyal to him.
"They misunderstand our loyalty. They thought our loyalty was to the government or the party; they didn’t know most of my colleagues in the House were loyal to me because I led them correctly".
"So when they broke the House into two faction, we had the majority of 18, those 18 men contributed money for me to pursue my case. I am forever grateful to them," Amaechi said.

The rescue
Amaechi said that at a point he was so broke and dejected that for six months, he was not able to leave his hotel room in Ghana while his wife and children were living in a tiny one room in Britain because they had no money to pay fees but that miracle happened.
"There was a day I was completely broke. I had no one kobo to pay my lawyers. Usually I do midnight prayer between 12 midnight to 1 am, and I asked God if He brought me this far to Ghana to suffer. At 12.30am, mytears were so much and I broke down and stopped. Just then I opened my phone and saw a missed call. I called the man and he said he was in America but would get back to Nigeria in four days time and would pay some money into my account. He did, and I was able to pay the lawyers. Then after him, I got Chief Victor Odili (Peter Odili’s uncle) and he gave me 250, 000 US Dollars. So if any one can lay claim to suffer in the hands of Dr. Odili I will be the person to lay that claim because I suffered difficulties masterminded by him.

Family travails
Amaechi said that for nine months his wife and children were living in one tiny room in the United Kingdom . He said his sons would call and tell him ‘Daddy, the toilet is in that room, the kitchen is that room, it is so hot’ and he would say: ‘look the problem you people have is that you came into the world in affluence, so you can’t stay in one room with toilet."
He said he grow up at Mile 111, No 18 Chigbu Street, Port Harcourt and that his father used to have three rooms in the face-me-I-face-you house. He said his father will sleep with his wife in one room, his siters will sleep in another room, while he and his brothers will sleep in one room, and that they queue up to go the toilet and cooked in the common kitchen.

The governor said that he appreciated the fact that they found it difficult because they were not born into the kind of environment he was born. "I told them I wanted them to grow up in a difficult environment so that I will prepare them for the future"
He thanked his wife for being able to withstand the pressure and being able to make his children withstand the same pressure.

The governor said that Rivers State is currently divided into different factions. While some he noted are praising Odili as a good man, others see him as evil. He said that even though he was not holding brief for Odili, that there are many of them who visited the former governor late at night and cart away government money as he would give them. He said Odili also gave some of them contracts. He said that it was the same people who are today abusing Odili. "It frightens me; it means no matter what I do, I will be abused later in the day."

Advocating for forgiveness, Amaechi said that was the only way the state could move forward. "This is the time to forgive. I am not ready to look back. I have forgiven everybody who wronged me. It is really painful, but God has left instruction that this government will fail if I don’t forgive people. Let us all forgive each other. Please forgive me if I have hurt you. Let us move this state forward", the governor concluded.

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Comments (8)

Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.