Dr. Peter Odili’s name rings an immediate bell in the ears, within Nigeria and beyond. A pragmatic politician, the 71-year-old former governor of Rivers State has continued to remain relevant over a decade after he stepped down from public office owing to his past accomplishments as well as his towering political clout and robust humanitarian inclinations.
His eight years as governor of Rivers State have continued to elicit flattering adulation and accolades as a result of his visionary administration and its impact on the people. He has remained politically relevant, serving as an elder statesman even in spite of his relative taciturnity in public discourses.
Because of the inclusive nature of his administration, many people, from the affluent to the hoi-polloi, continue to crowd round him.
Born on August 15, 1948 in Ogba, Egbema, Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Odili started his elementary education at the St. Michael’s School, Oguta II before going to the famous Christ the King College, Onitsha for his secondary education. He thereafter studied Medicine at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
After serving as a Resident Staff Physician at the Medical
Consultation Centre, Port Harcourt, between 1979 and 1980, Odili established the PAMO Clinics in 1980. He then went to the United Kingdom for further studies at the University of Liverpool. He was a personal nominee of then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, to a 10-member committee charged with the responsibility of formulating the methodology for addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in the workplace in Africa.
Away from medicine, Odili, in 1988/89, was leader of Rivers State Delegates to the Constituent Assembly and was Chairman of the National Constitutional Conference Committee on State Creation.
In 1992, he was elected Deputy Governor of Rivers State.
He was Founder and Leader, Rivers Platform, 1998; Founder and Leader, Restoration Team and State Leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Between 1999 and 2007, he was Governor of Rivers State.
As governor, he was one of the pioneers of the National Independent Power Project (NIPP). He is also the founder of the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt. He is married to Justice Mary Ukeago Odili, a Justice of the Supreme Court, and the marriage is blessed with four children.