Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has revealed how his political career was almost truncated in 2004 but was saved by Justice Mary Odili in her capacity then as the First Lady of the state.
Speaking on Sunday, Wike explained that his name was omitted from the list of candidates cleared to seek election/re-election at the local councils in the state.
He said when he observed this, he immediately ran to the State government house where he met Justice Odili just as she was about to drive out.
After narrating his dilemma, Wike said Mrs. Odili took the matter immediately to her husband, Peter Odili who was the state Governor at that time and after some calls to relevant people, he was cleared to contest for a second term in office as the chairman of Obio-Akpor.
Those called included Prince Uche Secondus who was the Rivers State party chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then and Chief Vincent Ogbulafor who was the PDP National Secretary then.
Naija News reports Wike was quoted by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri to have made the narration during the 70th birthday and retirement thanksgiving mass for Justice Mary Odili at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, (CIWA) in Port Harcourt, on Sunday.
The Rivers Governor vowed to be eternally grateful to Mrs. Odili for saving his political career.
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 on 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 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 added that Justice Odili is a caring and compassionate woman who is always ready to help solve the challenges of others.
“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,” he said.