Peter gravitated towards a professional career in teaching. Schooling and imparting knowledge were his first love. His distinction in Standard 6 had qualified him for an automatic four-year scholarship at St. Charles College in Onitsha, founded in 1928. It was the foremost teachers’ training school in the province.

He went straight from Standard 6 to the Teacher’s College without any teaching experience as a Pupil Teacher as was the rule. This was another feat and another record. His other contemporaries at St. Charles were Jacob Agu and Stephen Nwani of Amigbo, who were admitted in 1950, Pius Nnamani (1954), and Francis Onyia (1955).

He obtained the prized Teachers Grade Two certificate. Chief Onovo recalls that as he was finishing Standard 6 in 1956, Peter was already finishing from St. Charles. Such was the gap between him and his former classmates in Standard 1.

On return from St. Charles, his first teaching post was St. John’s Primary School, Agbani, where he was a Class 4 teacher. For the next six or so years, he moved from one Nkanu town to another. He taught in many of the Catholic-owned primary schools in Nkanu Division at the time – St. John’s Agbani, St. Paul’s Ozalla, St. Francis Akegbe-Ugwu, Sacred Heart Akpugo, St.Peter’s Nomeh and St. John’s Mburubu. He stammered a bit but this did not discourage his interest in teaching.

At that time, Standard 6 was generally considered the highpoint of education in Nkanu. The only secondary school in the area was the College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu, established by the Roman Catholic Mission in 1944.

Elsewhere were similar mission schools like Christ the King College (CKC) and Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), both in Onitsha, Methodist High School, Uzoakoli and Government College, Umuahia. With primary education considered expensive, secondary school education was farfetched and to most families unaffordable. University education was simply unthinkable.

In fact, not many people at that time knew that there was schooling beyond the secondary school level. The only university in Nigeria then was the University College, faraway in Ibadan, a campus of the University of London, established in 1948, which initially only offered courses in arts and humanities. But Peter had gained wide exposure from reading, and despite the challenges of his economic circumstance, he aimed higher.

Meanwhile, Peter aspired to university education, but encountered a seemingly insurmountable roadblock: he would need to pass the GCE exams, which typically required secondary school education. The GCE tested students in subjects that were often more advanced than the teacher training he had received. To the disbelief of many, he embarked on an improbable path of private study for the GCE Ordinary Level and then achieved the incredible feat of passing all the eight subjects, including the sciences. In the entrance exam to the Government College, Umuahia, he came first in the Enugu centre but was eventually denied admission as he was already past the admission age of 13 years.

He therefore further registered for Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics in the GCE Advanced Level, which was conducted by the University of London through the then locally famous Wosely Hall, as a correspondence course. His desire to also register for Biology and Physics was frustrated by the lack of facilities for examination in the practicals. By private studies he passed the two dreaded subjects in the GCE Advanced Level, which was another rarity. This earned him direct admission to study Physics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1963.

He was amongst the fourth set to be admitted into the prestigious university, which had opened in 1960. His admission into the university was a great occasion for his clan and community. Funds were raised by his elated Umuokorouba folks to support his university education.

Also, with the sponsorship of Chief John Igwesi of Obuoffia, he secured scholarship from the local divisional authority. During the holidays, Peter would return to the farm, both to provide food for his family and raise additional funds for his education. Before Peter, the only graduates from the town were the two Chukwuanis – Chief Clifford Nwafor Chukwuani (who was also the first Nkanu graduate as well as the first Nkanu lawyer) and

Mr. (later Justice) Franklin Chukwuani. There was also Mr. Godwin Udeh of Umungwu-Umuokorouba who had showed great academic endowment and nursed the ambition for university education overseas, only to die so young in 1952 after outstanding performances at the CIC, Enugu, where he was said to be the first African to teach English Language and Classics.

Thus when Peter graduated in the second class honours in 1966, he was the third graduate from Ozara. His graduation, however, came as Nigeria was being plunged into a civil war following the bloody coup of January 15 and the bloodier counter-coup of July 29, amid a pogrom targeted against the Igbo in the Northern and Western Regions.