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This was the first wise statement I heard from Peter Obi. It was sometime in 2004 at Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary, Onitsha. At that time Peter Obi was battling in the courts to reclaim his mandate stollen by the PDP and Ngige.

On that particular day, the seminary community organised a symposium to which, Uwazurike, the leader of MASSOB, Ngige, the then governor of Anambra State and Peter Obi were invited. The Archbishop of Onitsha, the lecturers, who were mostly priests and the seminarians took turns to appeal to Peter Obi to support Ngige to rule Anambra because Ngige was doing well by constructing roads and bridges. Everyone, who talked quoted the popular biblical verse: “with God all things are possible.” And that “God writes straight on crooked lines.”

When it was Obi’s turn to respond, he began by telling the Archbishop, the priests, the seminarians and the general audience that he wanted to correct a wrong assumption. He said: “the statement, with God all things are possible is not correct. For him only right things are possible with God.” Going further he said with God now he cannot become a Pope because it is not right. If he had wanted to become a Pope, he would have gone to the seminary, become a priest and subsequently a Bishop before dreaming of becoming a Pope. Pointing at his younger brother, Fabian Obi, who is also a priest and our lecturer in the seminary, and now the Rector of the seminary, he said, “my brother here can be a pope with God, but for me with God at this stage, I cannot be a Pope”

About his stolen mandate, he shocked us! Peter Obi said that what we were talking about was that Ngige stole his mandate and that was what he was bent on recovering and the fact that Ngige was doing roads and bridges with the stolen mandate doesn’t change the fact that it was stolen. He now threw a question to us: “armed robbers steal our cars and maintain them very well, even better than ourselves. Assuming we happen to see the armed robber after 10 years with that car in top form, well maintained, would we say, ‘Oh dear armed robber, you have been maintaining this my stolen car very well, you can keep it?’

Everyone in the auditorium was incapacitated by his wisdom. He pursued his mandate and the rest is history.
Obi’s generosity is inexplicable, but it is always outside the camera.

Recently, Fr. Fabian Obi was giving an account to the seminary and it was discovered that he spent extra 50m Naira beyond the money realised by the seminary. When he was questioned about the source of the money, he revealed, that it was given to him by his elder brother Peter Obi. Peter didn’t want it to be publicised but the Rector must account for the source of the excess fund. Peter is a different Nigerian!

©Polycarp Chibueze Nworie.

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