Personality Profiles

Peter Obi

Full Name: Peter Gregory Obi (CON)
State of Origin: Anambra.
Date of Birth: 19th July 1961.
Place of Birth
: Onitsha, Nigeria.
Nationality: Nigerian
Marriage status: Married with two children.
Spouse(s):  Margaret Brownson Usen (m. 1992)
Alma mater:  Christ the King College, Onitsha, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.A), Lagos Business School
Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, Institute for Management Development.
Occupation: Politician, Businessman, Banker
Position(S): Governor of Anambra State In office (14 June 2007 – 17 March 2014).
Political party: Labour Party.
Twitter:@PeterObi

Inroduction

Peter Gregory Obi CON fondly called ‘Okwute’ (Rock) is a Nigerian politician and businessmanwho served as the Governor of Anambra State three separate times from 2006 to 2014. In May 2022, he became the Labour Party nominee for President of Nigeria in the 2023 presidential election.

His full name is Peter Gregory Obi and he was born at Onitsha in Anambra, a state located in the southeastern region of Nigeria. He hails from Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state.

Obi is a Catholic Church Papal Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester.

Peter Obi parents

There is no publicly available information about Mr and Mrs Obi, Peter Obi’s parent at the time of publication but there are reports that his was born into a large Igbo Catholic family.

Education

Peter Obi attended Christ the King College, Onitsha where obtained his West Africa Secondary School Certificate (WASC). He later gained admission into University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1980 and bagged Bachelor of Art (BA) in Philosophy in 1984.

Peter Obi attended Lagos business school, Nigeria where he did his Chief Executive Program. He also attended Harvard business school, Boston, USA, where he did two programs (Mid to Mid Marketing).

Other schools he had attended include:

  • London School of Economics (Financial Mgmt/Business Policy)
  • Columbia Business School, New York, U.S.A. (Marketing Management)
  • Institute for management development, Switzerland where he also got two certificates in Senior Executive Program and Break-Through Program for CEOs.
  • Kellogg Graduate School of Management, U.S.A. (Advanced Executive Program)
  • Kellogg School of Management U.S.A. (Global Advanced Mgmt Program)
  • Oxford University: Said Business School, (Advanced Mgmt& Leadership Program)
  • Cambridge University: George Business School (Advanced Leadership Program)

Career before politics

As noted earlier, Peter Obi is a businessman. He started his life as a trader, a path which is not surprising since he was born into a trading family.

Read:  Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He later ventured into the corporate world and has served in numerous positions for different companies.

Some of Peter Obi’s pre-political positions include:

  • Former Chairman: Fidelity Bank Plc.
  • Former Chairman: Guardian Express Mortgage Bank, Ltd.
  • Former Chairman: Future Views Securities, Ltd.
  • Former Chairman: Paymaster Nigeria Plc.
  • Former Chairman: Next International (Nigeria) Ltd
  • Former Director: Guardian Express Bank Plc.
  • Former Director: Chams Nigeria Plc.
  • Former Director: Emerging Capital Ltd
  • Former Director: Card Centre Plc.

Obi’s Membership of Professional Associations/Organisations:

  • Member, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)
  • Member, Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers
  • Member, British Institute of Directors (IOD)

Political career

Obi political career came into limelight when he contested for governorship of Anambra state as the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) political party in 2003.

First term

Peter Obi contested in the Anambra State Governorship Election as a candidate for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party in 2003, but his opponent, Chris Ngige of the People’s Democratic Party, was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

After nearly three years of litigation, Ngige’s victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15 March 2006. Obi took office for on 17 March 2006. On 2 November 2006, he was impeached by the state house of assembly after seven months in office and was replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy, making her the first-ever female governor in Nigeria’s history. Obi successfully challenged his impeachment and was re-instated as the governor on 9 February 2007 by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu. Etiaba handed power back to him after the court ruling.

Peter Obi once again left office on 29 May 2007 following the General Elections, in which Andy Uba was declared the winner by the electoral body. Obi returned to the courts once more, this time contending that the four-year tenure he had won in the 2003 elections only started to run when he took office in March 2006. On 14 June 2007 the Supreme Court of Nigeria upheld Obi’s contention and returned Obi to office. This brought to an abrupt end the tenure of Obi’s successor, Andy Uba whose 14 April 2007 election the Supreme Court nullified on the grounds that Obi’s four-year tenure should have remained undisturbed until March 2010.

Second term

On 7 February 2010, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Peter Obi the winner of the 2010 Anambra State Gubernatorial election, where he defeated Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, former governor, CBN. This election victory gave Governor Obi an additional four years as the governor of Anambra State. On 17 March 2014 Peter Obi served out his second term and handed over the governorship to Willie Obiano.

Read:  Atiku Abubakar.

After the 2015 General Election, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Peter Obi as the chairman of the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

2019 presidential elections

On 12 October 2018, Peter Obi was named as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate in the Nigerian 2019 Presidential elections. His party came second.

2023 presidential elections

Main article: 2023 Nigerian presidential election

On 24 March 2022, Peter Obi declared his intention to run for the position of President of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, but later pulled out and announced he would be running under the Labour Party platform instead. According to the Peoples Gazette, Peter Obi wrote to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party on 24 May to resign his membership. Obi reportedly complained of massive bribing of delegates and vote buying at party’s presidential primary, citing the existence of a party clique collaborating against him.

Younger generations under 30 proved to be some of the biggest Obi’s supporters, showing their support via social media and protests and street marches.

Awards and honors

These are some of the notable awards of Peter Obi

  • Sun Newspaper’s Man of the Year (2007)
  • This Day Newspaper’s Most Prudent Governor in Nigeria (2009)
  • This Day’s Governor of the Decade (2020)
  • Champion Newspaper’s Nigeria’s Most Trustworthy Governor (2009)
  • West Africa ICT Development Award for Governor of the Year (2010)
  • Zik Leadership Prize (2011)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Best Performing Governor on Immunization in South-East Nigeria (2012)
  • Ezeife Leadership Foundation’s Leadership and Good Governance Award (2012)
  • Methodist Church of Nigeria’s Golden Award on Prudence (2012); Business Hallmark Newspaper’s Man of the Year (2012)
  • Silverbird’s Man of the Year (2013)
  • The Voice Newspaper’s Award for Outstanding Example in Leadership and Governance (2014)
  • Champion Newspaper’s Most Outstanding Igbo Man of the Decade (2014)
  • Nigerian Library Association’s Golden Merit Award (2014)
  • Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr (2014)
  • Catholic Diocese of Onitsha’s Golden Jubilee Award (2015)

Pandora Papers revelations

The result of the Pandora Papers leaks, the Premium Times reported on Obi’s involvement in offshore companies in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Barbados. Obi appeared to have made shell companies in the 1990s with the Barbados-based Beauchamp Investments Limited and UK-based Next International (UK) Limited being tied back to Obi and his family. This was before he held any political office in Nigeria. Further reporting showed that in 2010 as well, Obi had Access International help him set up and manage Gabriella Investments Limited, a company in the British Virgin Islands named after Obi’s daughter. One of the directors was also the director of a Belize-based shell company that was issued 50,000 shares in Gabriella Investments. In 2017, Obi reorganized the company under the name PMGG Investments Limited and created a trust named The Gabriella Settlement which became the sole shareholder in PMGG Investments Limited. Obi was not holding any political position at this time.

Read:  Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

According to the Premium Times report which claimed that Obi had broken several laws due to his business dealings. The report claimed that firstly, Obi remained as director of Next International (UK) Limited while serving as Governor of Anambra State, which is in direct violation of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act. However Obi described that claim to be misleading and wrong in an interview with Arise News stating that he resigned from all companies before taking the office of Governor of Anambra State. Secondly, it claimed that Obi’s non-declaration of his offshore companies broke the Nigerian Constitution’s provision that require public officers to declare all their properties, assets, and liabilities. Lastly, both the Constitution and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act outlaw a public officer from holding a bank account outside Nigeria and the leaks (along with Obi’s response to them) made it clear that Obi maintained his foreign accounts while serving as Governor.

After the revelations, civil society groups pushed for investigations into Obi as reporters queried the EFCC on if the commission would start investigating Obi. A few days after the report, Obi responded by claiming that he did not break any laws and clarified that the accounts’ money was accrued from his time as a businessman. The EFCC invited him for questioning later in October 2021 after Buhari directed all anti-corruption agencies to investigate those named in the leaks. However, no criminal case has ever been filed against Obi.

Personal life

Peter Obi married Margaret Brownson Obi (née Usen) in 1992. They have two children – a male and a female. Obi is a Catholic of Igbo descent.

Source: wikipedia.org and newswirengr

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