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CLOSE-UP: Born in 1972, did NECO in 2000 — enter Udi Odum, Buhari’s ministerial nominee from Rivers

CLOSE-UP: Born in 1972, did NECO in 2000 — enter Udi Odum, Buhari’s ministerial nominee from Rivers
June 21
19:09 2022

Earlier on Tuesday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting the upper legislative chamber’s confirmation of seven nominees for appointment as ministers. 

The nominees are Henry Ikechukwu (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekuma Joseph (Ebonyi), Goodluck Nana Obia (Imo), Umar Ibrahim Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegorioye (Ondo) and Udi Odum (Rivers).

However, one of the nominees — Odum — has an interesting background.

WHO IS UDI ODUM?

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Born July 24, 1972, Odum got his first school leaving certificate from the State School, Ogbema, in 1986. However, it took over 10 years before he got his National Examination Council (NECO) result — in 2002 — after he attended the Government Secondary School, Egbolom.

Odum served as the chairman of Abua/Odua LGA in Rivers state. He also won the Rivers state sustainable development agency (RSSDA) award for best LG chairman in 2008.

In 2009, he bagged a B.Sc. in management from the University of Port Harcourt, and was excluded from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in 2011. He, however, went on to obtain a postgraduate diploma in management, also from the University of Port Harcourt, in 2012.

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THE DRAMA WITH WIKE

Months after he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), in 2015, Odum was accused of involvement in pre-election violence aimed at disrupting Nyesom Wike’s governorship campaign in Abua/Odua LGA.

According to reports, Wike, the then governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), narrowly escaped death as he was caught in a cross-fire between armed hoodlums and security operatives in the LGA.

“I enjoin the police to fish out those behind this dastardly attack. I tell you, we know those who are involved in this. We shall go after them. They will not get away. The commissioner of police must have to find out those that carried out this attack this afternoon,” Wike was quoted as saying at the time.

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“You cannot do that here when I have come to Abua to campaign and come to Port Harcourt to rest. They must face justice.

“Wherever they are, they must face justice. The former chairman of Abua/Odua Local Government Area, Hon Udi Odum, is involved. The current chairman of the caretaker committee of Abua/Odua local government area, Gift Igoma, is involved. Tell them I am coming after them. They will never run away”.

However, Odum had denied his involvement in the chaos, and said the incident was the work of cultists in the area.

“What happened is essentially a cult war between Icelanders and Greenlanders who are largely PDP members. I am not a member of the PDP. We are currently involved in a rigorous political campaign for our party here,” he had said.

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REPORTEDLY NOMINATED BY AMAECHI

According to a source in the presidency, Odum was nominated by Rotimi Amaechi, former minister of transportation. 

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Meanwhile, the upper legislative chamber is expected to screen the ministerial nominees on a later date.

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