Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has denied saying Peter Odili, a former governor of Rivers State, was his classmate in secondary school.
On Thursday, Obi who was in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital for the inauguration of the Nkpolu Oroworukwo flyover, had said Odili was the senior prefect of his secondary school — Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha.
Obi aimed a swipe at some politicians whose educational background is in doubt, saying he can identify people who attended school with him.
“Everybody knows our age. They know where we were born; where we live; they know the schools that we attended. We have classmates,” Obi had said.
“This morning, I was talking to someone about Peter Odili. Dr Odili was my senior boy in secondary school. We couldn’t have played football in CKC without Odili.
“Any day he is not in the match, we lost. So I have people in Rivers state that went to school with me. Some people — nobody has seen people who went to school with them.”
Obi’s comments elicited varied reactions, with some doubting Obi being in school the same time with Odili.
Odili was governor of Rivers between 1999 to 2007. He attended CKC between 1961 and 1965 while Obi was born on July 19, 1961.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Obi explained that he was misinterpreted and the former Rivers governor had left secondary school before he got into the school.
“I did not say that former Governor Odili was my classmate, rather I said that he was a great footballer in my school, and we all cherished and had good memories of his football exploits when we got into the school,” Obi wrote.
“I was in CKC from 1973 to 1978 and Dr Peter Odili had graduated before I got into the school.
“He was such a fabulous footballer whose image still loomed large even in our time, especially considering the fact that my primary school was very close to CKC.
“The primary school that I attended, Santa Maria School/Holy Trinity School, were both owned by the same Catholic Church that owned Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha.
“In fact, both primary schools were feeder schools to CKC, and a large number of pupils who passed through the schools ended up in CKC for secondary education.”