Peter Obi – Everything You Need to Know About Him
Peter Obi’s Biography
Peter Gregory Obi CON was born on the 19th of July, 1961. He was a Nigerian businessman and politician who served from March to November 2006, from February to May 2007, from June 2007 to 2014. He served as governor of Anambra until March. In May 2022, Peter Obi became the Labour Party’s candidate for Nigeria’s president in the 2023 presidential election after quitting the People’s Democratic Party.
Obi was born in Onitsha in 1961 and graduated from the University of Nigeria in 1984. He then moved on to business and banking, eventually holding several managerial positions in banks. Obi ran for Anambra State governor in 2003 as a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, but Chris Ngige was declared the winner. In 2006, Chris Ngige’s election was canceled and Obi was declared the winner of the 2003 election and took office in March 2006. He was impeached in November the same year by the Anambra State House of Assembly, led by Hon. Mike Balonwu, but his impeachment was overturned and he returned to office in February 2007. Obi was sacked after Anambra gubernatorial election in 2007, but the judiciary stepped in again, ruling that he should be allowed to complete his four-year term. In 2010, Mr. Peter Obi was once again re-elected for a second term. After vacating office in 2014, Obi joined the People Democratic Party (PDP). In 2019, he was elected as the PDP’s vice-presidential candidate in the presidential election held alongside Atiku Abubakar, but the ticket went to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. In 2022, Obi ran for presidential primaries, first in his PDP, and in May 2022 he defected to the LP and received the nomination. Obi’s presidential campaign has been described as populist, and he is known to be supported among many young Nigerians called ‘Obidients’.
Early life and education
Peter Obi was born on July 19th July, 1961 into a devout Christian family in Onitsha, Anambra. He attended Christ the King College in Onitsha where he completed his secondary education. He entered the University of Nigeria in his 1980 and graduated with his Bachelor’s degree. In 1984 he graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Philosophy.
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi is not only a wealthy politician but also a successful businessman. He has spent time in the corporate world before going into politics. He has held managerial positions in a number of private institutions.
Companies he has worked for include:
Next International Nigeria Limited, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Limited, Guardian Express Bank PLC, Future View Securities Limited, Paymaster Nigeria Limited, Chums Nigeria Limited, Data Chairman and Director of Corp Limited, Card Center Limited. Due to his intellect and shrewd perception of business, Peter Obi was able to successfully build a reputable career in the business world. Peter Obi has worked with various prominent companies in different managerial and business roles. He was the youngest chairman of the Fidelity Bank .
Peter Obi was appointed the Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the tenure of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Peter Obi is also a member in various top-ranking bodies including the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers, and the British Institute of Directors (IOD).
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Peter Obi’s Political Career
Peter Obi’s political career faced a lot of opposition, but being a determined and bold man, he was able to overcome them all.
Peter Obi ran for Governor of Anambra in 2003 as the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) party candidate. However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared his opponent from People’s Democratic Party member Chris Ngige, the winner.
After almost three years of litigation, Ngige’s victory was overturned by an appeals court on March 15, 2006. Mr. Peter Obi assumed office as governor on March 17, 2006. On November 2, 2006, he was impeached by the Anambra State House of Assembly, led by Hon. Mike Balonwu, after seven months in office and was replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy, thereby becoming the first female governor in Nigeria’s history. Obi successfully appealed his impeachment and was reinstated as governor by the Enugu Court of Appeals on February 9, 2007. After the court’s ruling, Etiaba restored his powers.
Peter Obi left again on May 29, 2007 after election and Andy Uba was declared the winner by the Electoral College. Obi appeared in court again, this time arguing that the four-year term he won in the 2003 election only came into effect when he took office in March 2006. On the 14th June 2007, the Supreme Court of Nigeria upheld Obi’s claim and returned him to office. This brought an abrupt end to the term of Obi’s successor, Andy Uba. The April 14, 2007 election was annulled by the Supreme Court on the grounds that Obi’s four-year tenure until March 2010 should not have been blocked.
On February 7, 2010, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Peter Obi the winner in his 2010 gubernatorial election in Anambra state. He defeated CBN’s former governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo. The election victory gave Governor Obi another four-year term as Governor of Anambra.
On March 17, 2014, Peter Obi served his second term, handing over the governorship to Willie Obiano. After resigning in 2014 and joining the People’s Democratic Party in 2014, Obi found a new position as an advocate for good governance and a national politician. Following the 2015 general election, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Peter Obi as Chairman of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
2019 presidential election
On October 12, 2018, Peter Obi was nominated as the vice-presidential candidate for People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election. As a candidate for vice president, Obi opposed the proposal for a uniform national minimum wage, arguing that each state should have a different minimum wage.
2023 Presidential Election
On 24 March 2022, Peter Obi announced his intention to run for president of Nigeria under the People’s Democratic Party platform, but later declined and announced that he would instead run under the Labor Party platform. According to the People’s Gazette, on May 24, Peter Obi tendered his resignation letter to the leader of the People’s Democratic Party. Obi reportedly complained about the massive bribery and vote-buying of delegates in his party’s presidential primaries, citing the existence of factions opposing him.
Not affiliated with either of his two major political parties in Nigeria, Obi’s business background and status as a front-runner have drawn comparisons to Emmanuel Macron’s successful French presidential election in 2017. Obi has expressed admiration for Macron, and he was one of the officials who received Macron during his visit to Lagos.
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. Aisha Yesufu, a prominent activist noted as the cofounder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement and a supporter of the End SARS campaign, endorsed Obi in her first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate.
Young supporters of Obi’s campaign have been nicknamed “Obidients”. In an article in Business Day, it was argued that:
“[The Obi-Dients] are attracted by Peter Obi’s ideology of frugality, economic production rather than the ostentatious consumerism and waste, and resourceful management and investment in key sectors, for economic growth and development.”
Commentators have argued that Obi’s third party candidacy appeals to young voters dissatisfied with the two major parties, which has resulted in the “biggest political movement in recent Nigerian history. “With prudence and accountability being the crux of his message, Obi has managed to gain the backing of voters for his previously largely unknown Labour Party into a strong third force against two political heavyweights. Before campaigns were officially kicked off, Obi’s supporters held a series of One Million Man Marches in several Nigerian cities including Makurdi, Calabar, Lafia, Port Harcourt, Afikpo, Owerri, Enugu, Auchi, Abuja, Kano, Ilorin, Abakaliki and Ibadan. The march was not part of the official campaign. Run by volunteer Obi supporters rather than Obi’s internal team or political party, the march saw a large turnout.
Dr. Obiageri Ezekwesiri, Nigeria’s former education minister, said in an interview with Channels Television that Nigerian women are leaning towards President Peter Obi.
Running mate selection
Doctor Doyin Okupe initially served as Obi’s temporary running mate until a real candidate was selected. Ahead of the vice-presidential shortlist, news outlets reported that efforts were underway to nominate former Kaduna state senator Shehu Sani as Obi’s vice-presidential nominee. On July 8, 2022, Obi introduced his vice-presidential candidate, Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed. Regarding his vice presidential candidate selection, he said:
“This is our right to secure, unite and make Nigeria productive. And you cannot do that without having people who have similar visions, ideas and are prepared for the task. So, today, I have the honor to present to you, God willing, Nigeria’s next vice president in the person of Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.”
Results was announced on the wee hours of March 1, 2023. Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress party was declared president-elect with his 8.79 million votes. Obi received 6.1 million votes and won both Lagos and Abuja. This put Obi in third place behind winner Bola Tinubu and People’s Democratic Party candidate Atiku Abubakar. With the election riddled with voter manipulation, disenfranchisement, allegations, reports and evidence of manipulation, Obi announced at a press conference that he would challenge the results of the election, stating, “We won the election. I will prove it to Nigerians,” he said.
As a candidate, Obi publicly called on the federal government to identify those responsible for terrorist financing and oil theft in Nigeria. In 2020, Obi expressed his support for the End SARS social movement against police brutality.
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Obi has stated that he believes women are less prone to corruption in public office than men, and states that his gubernatorial staff were predominantly women. Obi has said he wants to do away with the Office of the First Lady of Nigeria, stating “It was not my wife that was voted in but himself. The Ministry of Women Affairs was enough to take good care of women.” In commemoration of International African Women’s Day, Obi stated:
“In Nigeria, we advocate continually greater women participation in leadership, nation-building and society, which begins with unfettered social inclusion, gender mainstreaming and empowerment.”
Awards and honours
Peter Obi has received various accolades for outstanding ventures in the business and political sectors. Listed below are some of the remarkable awards of Peter Obi:
- The Sun’s Man of the Year (2007)
- This Day’s Most Prudent Governor in Nigeria (2009)
- Nigeria’s Most Trustworthy Governor, Champion Newspaper, 2009
- Governor of the Year, West Africa ICT Development Award, 2010
- Zik Leadership Prize, 2011
- Leadership and Good Governance Award, Ezeife Leadership Foundation, 2012
- Golden Award on Prudence, Methodist Church of Nigeria, 2012
- Man of the Year, Business Hallmark Newspaper, 2012
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Best Performing Governor on Immunization in South-East Nigeria (2012)
- Silverbird’s Man of the Year (2013)
- Distinguished Alumnus Award – Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA) (2014)
- Nigerian Library Association’s Golden Merit Award (2014)
- Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr (2014)
- Award for Outstanding Example in Leadership and Governance, The Voice Newspaper, 2014
- Most Outstanding Igbo Man of the Decade, Champion Newspaper, 2014
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha’s Golden Jubilee Award (2015)
- This Day’s Governor of the Decade (2020)
- Leadership Excellence Award’s Man of the Year (2022)
From 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. According to further reports, in 2010 Obi, with the help of Access International, founded and managed Gabriella Investments Limited, a British Virgin Islands company named after Obi’s daughter. He was also a director of a Belize-based paper company that issued 50,000 shares of Gabriella Investments. In 2017, Obi reorganized the company under the name PMGG Investments Limited and became the sole shareholder of PMGG Investments Limited. She set up a trust called The Gabriella Settlement. At that time, Obi had no political status.
A Premium Times report claims Obi broke several laws as a result of the deal. According to the report, Obi had initially served on the board of Next International (UK) Limited during his term as governor of Anambra State, in direct violation of the Code of Conduct Office and statutory law. However, in an interview with Arise News, Obi described the allegations as misleading and false, saying he resigned from all companies before becoming governor of Anambra state. Second, it was argued that Obi’s failure to declare an offshore company violated a provision of the Nigerian Constitution that requires public officials to declare all possessions, assets and liabilities.
Days after the report, Obi claimed he had not broken the law and revealed that the money in the account was from his days as a businessman. EFCC Invited him for questioning in October 2021 after ordering an investigation into the individuals named in the leak. However, no criminal charges have been filed against Obi.
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Peter Obi is devoted Catholic. He married Margaret Brownson Obi (née Eusen) in his 1992 and has two children: Gabriella Nwamaka Frances Obi and Gregory Peter Oseloka Obi.
Peter Obi’s Net Worth
Former Anambra governor and PDP vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Peter Obi was a trader who dabbled in banking before becoming governor and a South African brewery owner. He said he was also an engineer. Peter Obi is a billionaire in Naira with an estimated net worth of around $10 million, even before he became governor of Anambra state.
Peter Obi’s Net Worth
Peter Obi’s cars
A man like Peter Obi, wealthy and influential, can afford to drive the best cars. During his tenure as governor, he is said to have traveled in a convoy of exotic and luxurious cars, the luxury cars that may be in Peter Obi’s garage include:
Mercedes-Benz AMG C63
His luxurious AMG C63 is the car of choice for Peter Obi at various business and political meetings in Nigeria. Mercedes Benz AMG has coupes, sedans and convertibles. The car comes with a SiriusXM satellite radio that comes with a 6-month trial, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth audio streaming. The lowest price for this car is 65 million Naira.
Lexus specializes in building quality vehicles that are designed for maximum performance and comfort. Powered by a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 403 lb-ft of torque, the Lexus LX 570 is one of the Lexus automotive brand’s toughest models. The car costs about N75 million.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is a bold and edgy look that cannot be overlooked. Often called the king of all SUVs, Toyota Land cruiser is a great car. Equipped with a powerful V8 engine, the Land Cruiser delivers 262 hp of torque at 3,400 rpm or 650 Nm of peak torque at 1,600 rpm. The vehicle is priced between NGN 55 million and NGN 70 million.
Peter Obi’s house
Peter Obi lives in a luxurious house worth millions of Naira. He is suspected of owning a 650 million Naira mansion in Enugu, Nigeria. He has a home in London and is also said to have several homes scattered throughout Nigeria.
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Source of wealth
During the Pandora Papers saga, Peter Obi said on Arise’s TV show: “I was the sole engineer at a brewery in South Africa. I also brought Ovaltine.
“The company I was with before leaving it to my brother, he took over and paid for it. This company has become the next cash-and-carry to be seen in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
“He was a director of three banks before he became governor, and he was chairman of one bank.”
Peter Obi’s Astounding Feats
He was the first gubernatorial candidate in Nigeria to legally challenge his logical conclusions against winning a gubernatorial election in which he was denied. He won the case in court and got his commission back.
He was the first governor in Nigeria to legally challenge a wrongful impeachment and was reinstated by the court.
He was the first governor in Nigeria to request an interpretation of the governor’s term when INEC allowed elections in Anambra state while his term was still in office. The elections already completed were nullified and he was able to complete his term.
He is the first governor of both the old and new Anambra states to serve his second term, almost 40 years after the state’s founding.
He is the first governor to be appointed special adviser to the president during his tenure. He was the first sitting governor appointed to the presidential economic management team.
He was one of the first governors to receive a national award during his tenure in 2011.
He has twice been elected Vice-Chair of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, even though he is the only governor governing only one state.
Despite being the only non-PDP governor in the Southeast (composed of five states), he was elected chairman for his eighth year instead of the normal year by his four other PDP governors.
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Groundlaying Merit as Governor of Anambra State
1. Anambra was the first state in sub-Saharan Africa to undertake the saving of subsovereign assets. At a time when many other governors were left heavily in debt, I left behind $500 million worth of investments, including his $156 million dollar bond, as well as local and foreign currency.
2. For the first time in the history of Anambra, ambassadors and high commissioners from prominent countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Russia, the European Union, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, the Netherlands and Canada, Others visited the states. Prior to his tenure, Anambra was effectively a pariah state, blacklisted by diplomatic corps and international development partners.
3. Development partners not previously based in Anambra, such as UNDP, UNICEF, World Bank, DFID and the European Union, have started working with the state. Incessantly, Anambra was ranked as one of the best states in her commitment to development partnerships and good governance reforms.
4. He was recognized as Supreme Governor by the Millennium Development Goals Office (OSSAP-MDGs) and his UNDP in implementing programs in Nigeria.
5. The Nigerian Debt Management Office (DMO) ranked Anambra as the least indebted country in Nigeria. Despite having visible and measurable success in various fields, the state under him has not borrowed or issued loans for various projects.
6. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has rated Anambra State as the most financially stable state in the country.
7. With the 1 January 2009 return of groundbreaking state schools to their original owners (volunteer institutions (churches)) and subsequent partnerships with educational institutions, the state moved from 24th out of 36 states. Ranked #1 in the National Examinations Council rankings. (NECO) and West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exams for three consecutive years. This prompted the World Bank to commission a study on this groundbreaking partnership and extraordinary results, led by the eminent Oxford University Professor Paul Collier.
8. The state has also entered into strategic partnerships with churches in the field of health. This symbiotic relationship led to a tremendous boom in healthcare, with services provided by volunteer agency-owned medical facilities, the state returning grants to the agency, and in various types of assistance, earned $50 million.
9. Through partnerships with health department churches, his government funded the following conversions; Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Ihiala, St Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha, Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha, St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu, and St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu.