In a book that may add to what I call the muddled history of Nigerian politics, former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odlili has written his account of what happened in the 8 years he held sway in Port Harcourt with excuses on why he could not make the State to look like Lagos at least. Titled Conscience And History, My Story, Dr Odili’s narrative points to the fact that this gentleman is very bitter not only about the fact that he is one of the most vilified politicians in Nigeria today but also because he was edged out of his desire to run for the Presidency. Lol. I am of the view that his bitterness is spiced up by the fact that he truly believes President Jonathan is occupying a position that should have been his. But he is wrong, his name is not Goodluck and he didn’t have Jonathan’s story.
The book is laced with facts only him could produce, or example he said those accusing him of embezzling Rivers funds are ignorant of how much that came to the State, according to him ”the total revenue from all sources that accrued to us from May 29, 1999 to May 28, 2007 was N708 billion. Out of this N11.6 billion were deductions at source for statutory reasons including repayments for foreign loans incurred by previous administrations. My administration did not take ay foreign loan. So in actual fact, our total revenue for over the 8 years period was not more N697 billion. About N291.6 billion was spent on personnel costs and other recurrent expenditure items over the period as well as payment of inherited arrears of pensions/ gratuities. The rest of what we had left about N400 billion was judiciously Spent , with utmost frugality, on capital projects we executed in the priority sectors of Power, Roads, Housing, Health, Education, Investment, Security, Transport, Sports etc.”
On how he was edged out of the presidential race, Odili narrated how James Ibori, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Nasir El-Rufai conspired to push him out and equally that his nomination as Vice Presidential candidate to late Umar Yar’Adua did not work out.
Odili is very bitter but my question is,where is Amechi getting the money he is using to reconstruct Port Harcourt and do so many things Odili could not achieve in 8 years. It is ridiculous for him to think that if he were Yar Adua’s Vice President, everything would still have worked out for him as it did for Goodluck Jonathan. This people sef, power and money no dey belleful them.
Just get you copy of Conscience and History, we need more people to open up and answer questions on the extent they contributed to bringing us where we are today as a nation.