Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has attributed his “outstanding performance” as a governor to “three developmental secrets” handed over to him by former governor Peter Odili.
Speaking during a state banquet to mark the 70th Birthday of Dr Odili in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Governor Wike said the guidelines handed over to him, gave him greater insights into the complexities of Rivers State from a pro-Rivers leader.
“Everything the former Rivers State Governor told me in his guidelines have played out. I am successful because I followed religiously the items on the guidelines to rapidly develop Rivers State.
“I don’t have high blood pressure because I was fully prepared. I know each local government area, because I took the advice from a man who was there.
“From the guidelines I received from Dr Odili, I can easily predict appointees who will stay and those who will leave. By their steps you can determine their next move”, Governor Wike said.
The governor said that no politician can take him unawares because he has studied the Odili template and applied it dutifully.
He urged the former Rivers State Governor to forgive all his ‘political sons’ who betrayed and abandoned him, so that the Odili political family can re-unite for the good of the state.
“Whoever has annoyed or betrayed you, forgive them. When you have 20 children, leave room for rebels. Since 1999, nobody has been key in the politics of Rivers State without being directly or indirectly linked to Dr Peter Odili,” he said.
Commenting on Dr Peter Odili at 70, Wike said the former governor supported his emergence as the state chief executive, noting that he has always provided selfless support.
Wike added that the Odili family has been good to him and his wife. He said nobody will intimidate him into abandoning the family.
He traced his first contact with the Odili family to the period when alongside his wife, he did court attachment at Justice Mary Odili’s court.
He said his national popularity was traceable to Odili who introduced him to the Founder of AIT, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who detailed a reporter to cover him as the Minister of State for Education.
In his remarks, Odili announced that he has forgiven all his estranged political children who offended him.
He said: “I have forgiven. I will attempt to command my mind to forget. I will grant conscience amnesty to those whose conscience have told that they offended.”
Odili stated that his 70th Birthday celebration has the significance of his official handover to his successor.
“Today, I feel I am properly handing over to my successor. Today, we have revived the Rivers spirit. Only God will reward you.”
He urged the Rivers State Governor to remain focused in developing the bridges of unity in a pluralistic state.
Odili stated that Wike has worked hard for the development of the state, hence he deserves the constitutionally approved two terms.
“In three years, Governor Wike has surpassed what all former governors including me have done. Therefore, they should allow Governor Wike to complete his constitutionally approved two-terms”, he said.
The Banquet in honour of Odili was marked by goodwill messages by associates, political children, friends and well wishers.
Contemporary music, comedy and traditional dances added spice to the event.
Highpoint of the banquet was the cutting of the birthday cake.