Late Pa, Anthony Enahoro
His late father, Anthony Enahoro was a foremost nationalist and politician, but his first son, Ken, has given politics a wide berth. Adibe Emenyonu reports
He is popularly known by his admirers simply as Ken. He is the eldest son of one of Nigeria’s foremost political icon, Chief Anthony Enahoro and Mrs. Helen Enahoro of Uromi, Esan North-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The younger Enehoro like his father attended the famous King’s College, Lagos, from where he went to the United Kingdom for his Advance Level Certificate. After that, he attended Oxford University, London where he read Political Science/Philosophy/Economics which he later capped with a masters degree in economics. But he did not take after his father with regard to politics.
Speaking to THISDAY in Benin City, Enahoro says he has been in private business, avoiding “the mucky waters of Nigerian politics.” He said two major reasons accounted for his distaste for Nigerian politics.
According to him, one is the composition of Nigeria federation and lack of proper development plan for the country.
He noted that the military has no business in politics because of the nature of their command system “which does not give room for alternative ideas.”
“Though they (military) are patriotic Nigerians who took over to save the country from imminent collapse then in 1960, their greatest lapse was that those who took over then were very young officers who are immature in terms of governance.
“The unitary system introduced by General Aguiyi Ironsi should have been jettisoned. The military then needed that to bring everyone together. But now that we are back to democratic rule and have stabilised, we ought to go back to the old system.”
As a way forward, he advocated for the convocation of a national conference in whatever brand to discuss the future of Nigeria, adding that “everywhere you go, people have agreed that there is the need to talk, but the unfortunate thing is that those who represent us do not see the need to restructure the system because it serves their purpose.”
His added: “Everywhere you go; either in the bus, taking a flight, majority of Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious inclination are unanimous that for Nigeria to move forward, there is need to sit down and talk but those who say they are representing us do not believe in a conference. But one thing remains clear: there is no way the present wrought in the system can be wished away without Nigerians sitting down to discuss how to go about.
“Our representative, when they are not in power, they become ardent advocates of a conference. But immediately they get there, they will not see the wisdom in what they had been clamouring for before being voted into government.”
Another reason why he has remained a private person “is the perception of those in government who see every opposing view as unpatriotic.”
“Every Nigerian is patriotic. That I criticise does not make me less patriotic. People criticise to correct certain anomalies but if you do that in Nigeria, they will say that you do not like the man in power”.
Ken recalled a letter written to him by his late father when he was still 14 years old following his old man’s first incarceration in prison over alleged sedition. The letter according to him was titled, “Be patriotic to your country, my son.” Ken notes: “if a man sentenced to prison for alleged sedition can still write to his son to be patriotic after he was jailed, what is more patriotic than that?
Describing himself as old fashioned “with new-fashioned thoughts on life,” Ken says he enjoys playing golf which was one of the things he inherited from his late father who was described a father of golf in Nigeria.