Tony John, Port Harcourt
Nigerians from all walks of life, on Tuesday, praised former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, for his contributions towards the development of his state and Nigeria in general.
In their remarks at a lecture organised by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to mark Odili’s 70th birthday, they hailed Odili for investing his intellect and resources in building the country.
This came as Odili described Wike as a committed nationalist whose message is critical to the development of the nation.
In a lecture entitled: “Sir Dr. Peter Odili: Defender of the faith, defender of the fatherland,” former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Chief Kanu Agabi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said Odili was an ornament of Rivers.
He said: “Formerly, he belonged to Rivers State. He has ceased to be the property of Rivers State. He is now the property of Nigeria and the world.”
Agabi described Odili as an outstanding humanist, who is courageous and committed to the growth of the country.
“Whatever he has done is for the benefit of mankind; whatever he has refrained from doing, it is in the interest of society.”
The former AGF said Odili used power to advance public good, noting that he never deserted his friends while in office.
He called for the unity of the country, where all Nigerians can work anywhere, irrespective of their state of origin.
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Agabi praised the celebrant’s wife, Justice Mary Odili, for providing the right support for the former governor to do exploits and be a blessing to all generations.
In an epilogue, Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said at 70, Odili and other men of goodwill should stand and work for revival of the country.
He said: “Except all men of goodwill should stand up to be counted, we may witness a major cataclysm in this country.”
Odumakin said the country had lost track and would descend into full blown dictatorship and anarchy, unless Nigerians check the slide.
Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Kobani, said Odili is an indisputable political leader of Rivers.
Chairman on the occasion, former president, Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdulahi, said Odili has created a place for himself in the history of Nigeria.
Also present at the event were Governor Wike, his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette, members of the State Executive Council, state judiciary and legislature.
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Former governors, who graced the occasion were Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Lucky Igbinedion (Edo), Idris Wada (Kogi), and Sir Celestine Omehia (Rivers), as well as former president, Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru (retd) and former Akwa Ibom State military governor, Colonel Bako (retd), former ministers, serving senators, National Assembly, traditional rulers, professionals and renowned jurists, turned up to pay glowing tributes to the outstanding political leader.
Meanwhile, Odili has described Wike as a committed nationalist whose message is critical to the development of the nation.
Odili thanked God for His mercies and for giving Wike the capacity to transform the society, while commending the governor for organising the programme to celebrate his 70th birthday.