Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Former Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, has retired from partisan politics.
The former PDP BoT Chairman who announced his disengagement from active politics yesterday at the presentation of his autobiography ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’, also urged Nigerians to drop partisan politics and support efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari to end the current recession.
“I am persuaded that I have no more ambition nor any point to prove in politics. I am, therefore, glad to declare that, from today, I shall be withdrawing from active partisan politics. I shall, however, continue to avail the country of my experience, give suggestions and offer advice, as a statesman,” Anenih told his audience.
The former PDP leader said the current recession in the country was a national predicament which must be confronted by all irrespective of political affiliation.
“I therefore urge Nigerians to persevere and hope for better tomorrow. We must support and pray that God will give the President the wisdom and vision to steer the country away from recession to prosperity”, he added.
But former President Goodluck Jonathan appealed that he should rescind his decision. Jonathan, who was among distinguished personalities that attended the book presentation, said Anenih’s experience in security and politics would be wasted if he makes good his decision to quit politics at this time.
“You may not be in position to attend political meetings but you are our political leader until God decides that you will leave us. The country is passing political stages (and) your experience and wisdom will be required to direct us and stabilise the nation. We will excuse you from attending night meetings, BoT meetings but you will continue to mentor us, we will continue to consult you,” Jonathan pleaded.
The former BoT Chairman who expressed gratitude to God for strength, inspiration and protection, said he decided to write the book to provide lessons and encouragement to future generations.
“I am hopeful that the lessons of fortitude, hard work, diligence, loyalty and service, which have been manifest in my life, would give encouragement to all those who are serving as well as those who aspire to serve our great fatherland. My cardinal focus and objective have always been to be an agent of positive development, unity and brotherhood in Nigeria.
“In the course of my political career, I have interacted with all manner of people and institutions. I have seen people at their best and at their worst; I have worked with reliable people as well as fickle people; I have experienced undiluted loyalty and disloyalty from unexpected places. I have always tried to make the best of all situations. I can, therefore, say, with great pride, that I feel fulfilled in politics,” he declared.
Other distinguished personalities that graced the occasion were former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), who chaired the event, two former Vice Presidents, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and Arc. Namadi Sambo.
The book presenter, General TY Danjuma (rtd) was represented by Prof. Jerry Gana, who described Anenih – whose political associates call Mr. Fix it – as a courageous man having produced three presidents, governors and members of the legislature.