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Peter Obi, who is fondly called “OKWUTE” meaning “ROCK”, was born on 19th July 1961 at Onitsha. He had his secondary school education at Christ the King College, Onitsha. Peter proceeded to University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1980 where he graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Philosophy in 1984.

Afterwards, his love for academic took him outside the shore of Nigeria to Ivy League and Oxbridge schools. He also went to Harvard Business School, Boston, USA; London School of Economics where he studied Financial Management/Business Policy; Columbia Business School, New York, USA (Marketing Management); Institute for Management and Development, Switzerland; Kellogg Graduate School of Management, USA; Oxford University; Lagos Business School, Nigeria and Cambridge.

Obi got married to Margaret Brownson Usen in 1992 and they are blessed with two children. He has served as a former chairman Board of Securities and Exchange Commission, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Ltd, Future Views Securities Ltd and a former director at Chams Nigeria Plc, Emerging Capital Ltd, among others.

Peter Obi contested in the Anambra State Governorship Election as a candidate for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party in 2003; but his opponent, Chris Ngige of the People's Democratic Party, was declared winner.

After nearly three years of litigation, Ngige's victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15 March 2006. Obi took office for governorship on 17 March 2006. On 2 November 2006, he was impeached by the state house of assembly after seven months in office and was replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy.

On 12 October 2018, Peter Obi was named as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party's Presidential Candidate in the 2019 presidential election. As a candidate for Vice President, Obi opposed proposals for a standardized national minimum wage, arguing that different states should have different minimum wages. The Abubakar/Obi ticket came second.

On 24 March 2022, Peter Obi declared his intention to run for the position of President of Nigeria under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, but later pulled out and announced he would be running under the Labour Party platform instead.

Obi reportedly complained of massive bribing of delegates and vote buying at party's presidential primary, citing the existence of a party clique collaborating against him.