“The axiom that ‘You never really know a man until he has Power and Money’ came truly alive since my period out of office 29th May 2007. It has been a most revealing and the instructive period of my life. People one had taken from point of street -contact and made members of family: people one had employed straight from school; people who one had no sanguinal relationship with but made beneficiaries of one’s generosity in the midst of want; people who professed absolute loyalty and readiness to sacrifice anything in one’s defence; people who proclaimed that their own children could not do 10% of what Dr Odili did in their lives…. The list is inexhaustible. All these, on my exit from office, instantly turned their back on me, denied being beneficiaries and indeed joined detractors and political opponents to castigate, denigrate, malign and condemn me. They denied being recipients of anything good from Odili’s Government. Some even joined the chorus of ‘Crucify Odili’ singers. That is the nature of man and his perfidy. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it’ Jeremiah 17.9.
There is indeed no art for discerning who will stand with you to the end. It is also not a function of sanguinal relations or ethnicity. That is why the list is a mixed salad of friends, fraternal, religious, political, professional, colleagues turned betrayers, even extended family members are included topping the list are: those by God’s will we single-handedly invited to occupy positions, those who could not pay school fees or transport their children to school until Odili came into their lives long before I became Governor; those who called me ‘brother’ and we’re called ‘best friends of Government’ on the basis of the tremendous patronages they enjoyed from my administration albeit meritoriously; those who had no leather shoes at the point of contact with me politically and who are today acclaimed success stories; those I assisted to bail out their failing business including banks. People who wined and dined with me every day in office literally and we’re privy to most decision and actions of my Government; those whose lives were saved by our state free health care policy and direct intervention; those who held political appointments under us for the 8 years I was Governor and after; foot-runners who became owners of cars through our patronage and assistance. Even those whose wedding were sponsored and funded by us and those who received free medical treatment in our private hospital for many years. That’s how deep the betrayal was.
Like the scripture says ‘Many are the tribulations of the righteous but the Lord delivers them from them all”
•Excepts from Conscience and History – My Story, by Dr. Peter Odili, Governor of Rivers State, 1999 – 2007