By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT— GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has urged his mentor, former governor of the state, Peter Odili, to forgive all “his political sons who betrayed and abandoned him” through the years.
Wiike, at a state banquet in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to mark Odili’s 70th birthday, said the former governor needs forgiveness of heart to reunite his political family 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 Odili,” he said.
He said he owed his successes as a governor to a three point developmental secret handed him by Odili which gave him privileged insights into the complexities of Rivers from a pro-Rivers leader.
“Everything the former Rivers governor told me in his guidelines has 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,” Wike said.
He further attributed his national popularity to Dr Odili when he introduced him to the founder of AIT, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who detailed a reporter to cover him as Minister of State for Education.
Responding, Odili said: “I have forgiven. I will attempt to command my mind to forget. I will grant conscience amnesty to those whose conscience have told them that they offended me.”
On Wike’s loyalty and stewardship, he said, “Today, I feel I am properly handing over to my successor.”