Peter Gregory Obi CON is a Nigerian politician, former Anambra State Governor and businessman who ran as the Peoples Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 Nigerian general election.
Peter Obi was born in Onitsha, Anambra State, on July 19, 1961. He completed his high school studies at Christ the King College in Onitsha. He enrolled at the University of Nigeria in 1980 and graduated in 1984 with a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy.
Peter Obi acquired diplomas in the Senior Executive Program and the Chief Executive Officer Program from Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, and the International Institute for Management Development. He also attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, and Cambridge University’s Judge Business School.
Peter Obi was a trader before entering politics. After being born into a trading family, Peter Obi started as a trader before moving into the corporate sector. He held executive positions in a variety of private companies.
He has worked with companies such as Next International Nigeria Ltd, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Ltd, Guardian Express Bank Plc, Future View Securities Ltd, Paymaster Nigeria Ltd, Chams Nigeria Ltd, Data Corp Ltd, and Card Centre Ltd. He was the youngest chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc.
Peter Obi was named Atiku Abubakar‘s running mate in the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential election campaign in Nigeria on October 12, 2018. His political party finished second in the 2019 election.
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Peter Obi as governor
Peter Obi was Governor of Anambra State in 2003 as a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), but the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Chris Ngige of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner.
After nearly three years of litigation, the Court of Appeal reversed Ngige’s victory on March 15, 2006. Obi was inaugurated as Governor on March 17, 2006. After only seven months in office, he was impeached by the state House of Assembly and replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy, and Nigeria’s first female governor.
On February 9, 2007, the Court of Appeal in Enugu re-instated Peter Obi as governor after successfully challenging his impeachment. Etiaba returned power to him after the court’s decision.
Peter Obi handed over after Andy Uba’s victory in the general elections on May 29, 2007. Obi went back to court, alleging that the four-year term he had won in the 2003 elections had only begun to run when he took office in March 2006.
On June 14, 2007, the Supreme Court of Nigeria upheld Peter Obi’s claim, and he was reinstalled in office. The Supreme Court nullified Obi’s replacement, Andy Uba, on April 14, 2007, on the basis that Obi’s four-year mandate should have been uninterrupted until March 2010.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Peter Obi the winner of the 2010 Anambra State gubernatorial election, defeating Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
As a result of this election victory, Governor Obi was re-elected for as Governor. Peter Obi finished his second term as governor on March 17, 2014, and handed over the reins to Willie Obiano.
Peter Obi companies
Before becoming a politician, Peter Obi was a businessman. In an interview with Arise Tv, he stated that he controls and owns several businesses, some of which are international brands. Some businesses include Heinz products, Ovaltine, South Africa International Breweries, and many others.
He also mentioned that he owned shares in three commercial banks, Fidelity bank inclusive.
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Peter Obi’s achievements
Some great achievements marked Peter Obi’s tenure as Governor of Anambra State:
- He was the first governor to be honored with a national award in 2011 while he was still in office. He was the first governor to be appointed Special Adviser to the President.
- Anambra was the first state in Sub-Saharan Africa to start saving through Sub-Sovereign Wealth Funds. At a period when many other governors were leaving massive debts, he left the equivalent of $500 million in investment, local and foreign currency, and $156 million in dollar-denominated bonds.
- For the first time in Anambra State’s history, prominent countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, the European Union, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands, and Canada sent ambassadors and high commissioners to the state. Before his appointment, Anambra had been designated as a pariah state by the Diplomatic Corps and international development partners.
- Anambra is Nigeria’s least indebted state, according to the Nigerian Debt Management Office (DMO). Despite evident and measurable gains in numerous sectors, the state did not borrow or raise bonds for its various projects while he was in office.
- Anambra State was named the most financially sound state in Nigeria by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- On January 1, 2009, the state’s groundbreaking return of schools to their original owners – Voluntary Agencies (Churches) – and subsequent partnership with the Agencies in Education saw the state move from 24th out of 36 States to Number One in the National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations for three consecutive years. As a result, the World Bank commissioned research on this unique alliance and amazing performance, conducted by the famous Prof. Paul Collier of Oxford University.
- The state also formed a strategic collaboration with the churches in the health sector. Because of the services provided by health institutions owned by Voluntary Agencies, this symbiotic connection resulted in a huge boost to health care, while the state restored funds to the agencies and made accessible to them more than $50 million in various sorts of support.
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Peter Obi is one of the richest politicians in Nigeria. His net worth is estimated at N4.15 billion ($10m).
Obi and Margaret Brownson Usen married in 1992 and have two children together. He is of Igbo origin and is a devout Catholic.
Peter Obi for President
Peter Obi announced his desire to run for President of Nigeria under the Peoples Democratic Party platform on March 24, 2022, he withdrew and indicated he would run under the Labour Party platform instead. He resigned his membership in the Peoples Democratic Party on May 24.
Obi was said to be afraid of being humiliated at the party’s presidential primary, citing the existence of a party clique working against him.
Peter Obi, from his governorship struggles, showed that one must always stand up and fight for his rights, even if it is hard.