Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili, CON, KCSGG, GSSRS, KSJI
Born on the 15th of August 1948 in Ndoni, Rivers State; Dr Peter Odili received his early education in St. Michael’s School Oguta, Sacred Heart School Onitsha, and Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha between 1953 and 1967. He was Senior Prefect and College Captain in CKC Onitsha in 1967. While at CKC, he excelled not only in academics, but also in sports – representing the school in soccer, high jump, long jump, and lawn tennis. After the Nigerian Civil War, he proceeded to the University of Nigeria Nsukka and Enugu Campus in 1970, and served as Speaker of the Medical Students Association of the University in 1972 and President, League of Human Affiliates (Students Humanitarian Association) between 1972 and 1974. He graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1977. In 1985 he attained a degree in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.
He commenced his medical practice first as a House Officer with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, and Senior House Officer between 1977 and 1979. After his stint as a Senior House Officer, he relocated to Port Harcourt with his wife and infant daughter and secured a job as Staff Physician at the Medical Consultation Centre in Port Harcourt. Two years later, he set up his private hospital – PAMO Clinics and served first as Resident Clinician, and subsequently as Consultant in Tropical Medicine and Venereology, Clinical Director and then Medical Director following its rapid expansion to a hospital. In 1994, he ventured into agriculture with the setting up of RockMay Farms and Industries Ltd.
Between 1981 and 1982, he served as Secretary of the Nigerian Medical association, Rivers State Branch; and Secretary, Association of Private Medical Practitioners Association, Rivers State between 1985 and 1987. Other roles he played, included Member, Medical Advisory Council Rivers State Ministry of Health; President University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Port Harcourt and National Vice President, University of Nigeria Alumni Association between 1985 and 1988. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Michelin Nigeria Limited and served on the board for three years, between 1987 and 1989. He was elected as a Member and Leader of the Rivers State Delegates of the of the Constituent Assembly of 1988 – 1989. This heralded his foray into active politics, and in 1992 he was elected Deputy Governor of Old Rivers State; a position in which he served until the coup of November 1993. He was once gain elected as Delegate and Leader of the Rivers State Delegates in the National Constitutional Conference of 1994 – 1995, and served as the Chairman of the Committee on Creation of States and Local Government Areas at the Conference. In furtherance of his commitment to serve humanity, he played active politics and served in leadership positions as National Vice-Chairman (South-South), Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN); Founder and Leader, Rivers Front Movement; and National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) Fund-Raising Committee. He chaired the Presidential Committee on Housing and Urban Renewal in 2001 and was President of the Swimming Federation of Nigeria between 2001 and 2005. He served as the 13th Executive Governor of Rivers State between 1999 and 2007, and in 2014 was a Delegate and Elder Statesman at the National Conference.
Over the years, Dr Peter Odili has received numerous awards such as Commander of the order of the Niger (CON), Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict 16th, Papal Medal Knight of St Gregory the Great (KSG) by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Victor Ludorum of C.K.C Onitsha, Bishop Shanahan Cup Winner, Top 5 in Class Winner, Best performing Governor in 2002, Presidential Nominee of President Bill Clinton to 10 – Member Round Table Committee on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Order of Merit Benemerenza by Region of Lombardi, Italy; Labour-Friendly Governor of the Year 2001; Ambassador for Peace Award by Inter-Religious and International Federation for World Peace 2003; Zik Prize for Good Governance; Honorary Doctorate of Science Degree by Lincoln University, Pennsylvania USA; Agro Business Award by the European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC), Brussels 2003; European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) International Award, Brussels 2003; Kwame Nkrumah Award for Excellence in Governance; NUJ Golden Jubilee Award for Transparency and Good Governance; Confederation of African Football (CAF) Merit Order Achievement Award; King Jaja Manila Tree Award; Lincoln University President’s Appreciation Award; Nehemiah award by the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, and numerous other awards, honorary doctorate degrees and recognition titles from communities across Nigeria.
A statesman, humanitarian and avid sportsman, his hobbies and interests include reading, writing, sports and music. He self-published his autobiography “Conscience and History” detailing his early years and political experiences in 2012.