Reactions yesterday trailed the death of the former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Tony Anenih, with the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, All Progressives Congress (APC) national stalwart, Senator Bola Tinubu and other prominent Nigerians expressing deep grief.
They described him as a pan-Nigerian and patriot who served the nation to the best of his ability.
Writing on his Facebook page and other social media handles, @iamekweremadu, he said: “Chief Anineh contributed so much to deepening our democracy and setting the nation on the path of progress at the end of many decades of military rule.
“He was a humble leader, fine public administrator, political kingmaker, a colossus, master strategist, and a political oracle, who was very vast in political engineering.
“Iyasele was a courageous man, and a man of few words, who meant whatever he said and said only what he meant. He will be sorely missed”.
Ekweremadu prayed God to grant the deceased eternal repose and to his family, the government and people of Edo State, and indeed the nation the inner strength to bear the irreparable loss.
Also, Tinubu described Anenih as a leader who was resolutely committed to the unity and cohesion of the country.
He said in a statement last night by his Media Office: “Chief Anenih was a foremost politician and elder-stateman. He was resolutely committed to the unity and cohesion of this country. He worked for the upliftment of his Uromi hometown and Edo State, as he worked for the growth and development of Nigeria.
“A politician of immense repute. He gave so much to party politics and democracy in the country.
As one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he played a key role in the country’s resurgent democracy. It was no surprise that he later emerged the Chairman, Board of Trustees of PDP.
“Our path crossed in the Social Democratic Party where he was our national chairman. I recall that he was an energetic politician who played politics with all that he is imbued with.
“I commiserate with his family. I pray that they find the strength and courage to live without their patriarch. I also commiserate with Governor Godwin Obaseki and the government and people of Edo State”.
Obaseki Mourns Death of Elder Statesman
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed deep sadness over the passing of elder statesman, Chief Anthony Anenih, whose death was reported yesterday.
The governor, in a statement, said that Anenih’s death is a huge loss to the state and the nation as the elder statesman devoted a better part of his life to the development of the state and the country, contributing to national development in the various capacities he served while he lived.
According to him, “The whole of Edo State has suffered a huge loss with the death of Chief Anenih, the Iyasele of Esan land, who ranks as one of the most illustrious sons of the state.
Anenih rose to the occasion when it mattered most, to defend the interest of Edo State and her people.
He attracted development to the state and groomed several Edo sons and daughters who are now active players in the nation’s political space.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss, more so at a time like this, when Nigeria needs his wisdom and guidance as we approach the election season.”
Obaseki prayed that God grants the Anenihs’ the fortitude to bear the loss, noting, “as the whole nation mourns Anenih’s passing, my condolences go to the family, as I pray that God grants them the grace to face this great loss.”
Dickson: Nigeria Lost a Political Colossus
Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has said Nigeria lost a political colossus in Anenih.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor said he received the news of Anenih’s passing with shock.
He described him as an astute politician and elder statesman whose vacuum would be difficult to fill.
“Anenih was a political icon, a nationalist and a great leader of men. He was a political colossus. His passing has created a huge vacuum in our political landscape that will be difficult to fill,” he said.
The Bayelsa helmsman, while commiserating with the immediate and political family of the former Minister of Works, said the late octogenarian politician offered meritorious service to the country that they should be proud of.
Okowa Commiserates Edo People
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has commiserated with the family members, the government and the people of Edo State on the death of Anenih.
Okowa also conveyed his condolences to the family of the late Iyasele of Esanland, describing him as a committed patriot who served nation at the highest levels with an uncommon sense of patriotism and unwavering dedication.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, in Asaba, the governor said he was saddened by the demise of the former Chairman of the BoT of the PDP.
The statement read: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Anenih.
“He was a committed patriot, an astute politician and a former Minister of Works who worked to better the lots of his people and Nigerians in general, adding “through his purposeful leadership and development strides, the late Anenih influenced the dualisation of the Benin Asaba road, Benin Warri Road and the Benin bypass road which brought about unprecedented development to the Niger Delta region”.
Governor Okowa remarked that as a democrat, the late Anenih etched his name in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic advancement by working courageously for the emergence and consolidation of the Fourth Republic in 1999 when he joined forces with other leaders to form the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“Before venturing into politics, Chief Anenih retired from the Nigeria Police Force as a Commissioner of Police and bestrode Nigeria’s political landscape like a collossus where he mentored several succesfull politicians across the country.
“His good works as a dedicated family man, selfless politician and great philanthropist as well as his ability to consistently, at every turn, resolve knotty political puzzles would later earn him the sobriquet – “Mr. Fix It” which would continue to live after him”.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, I convey our deepest sympathy to the Anenih family, the people of Uromi and Esan Land, Edo State, and the rest of the country.
“May his soul find eternal repose in the bosom of the Almighty God.” the Governor wrote.
Uduaghan Describes Anenih as Genuine Patriot
Former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said that he is greatly pained by the demise of Chief Tony Anenih, describing him as genuine patriot, father figure and dependable adviser.
Uduaghan in a statement by his media aide, Monoyo Edon, said: ‘’I have just received the sad news of the death of one of Nigeria’s greatest nationalists, Tony Anenih. His passing is a painful reminder that the pool of our committed nationalist leaders is depleting.
‘’Anenih was like a father-figure to me privately and on my political sojourn. He gave me the privilege of his listening ears in troubled and in good times.
‘’I shall forever cherish the very good memories we shared together, he was my run-to adviser who threw his doors open to me, even at short notice. I generously tapped from his wealth of experience and I am the better for it today.
‘’His death may be painful, but I thank God for the selfless life he lived and the legacies, worth emulating by all patriots, that he left behind. I pray that the Almighty God grant his soul eternal rest and the Anenih’s family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.’’
George: PDP Has Lost a Great Leader
Former National Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bobe George, said that the PDP has lost a great leader and Nigeria has lost a political icon.
George said that Anenih was a resilient and reliable ally who was always there for party.
He was Master Political Strategist, Says Ibori
Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, said Anenih was a master political strategist.
Ibori described the death of Anenih as the end of a remarkable era in Nigerian politics.
He said Anenih was in a class of his own as he was almost unsurpassed.
He was a Foremost Nationalist, Says Daniel
Late former Chairman, Board of Trustees of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, has been described as one of Nigeria’s foremost politicians whose death ended a great chapter in the nation’s political history.
In his condolence message, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, stated that Anenih was a hugely endowed political leader and foremost nationalist who served the country in various capacities during his lifetime.
“As one of the founding fathers of PDP, Chief Anenih was among those who sustained the nation’s fledging democracy by his immense contributions in the process that laid a solid foundation for democratic ideals and political ethics in modern politics,” Daniel said.
In his demise, the country, he stressed, has lost an illustrious son and colourful politician whose administrative prowess and political sagacity remain a benchmark and history will report him positively for his exemplary roles and great ideas in nation building.
Agbaje Expresses Shock
The PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has expressed shock over the news of Anenih demise
Agbaje who is presently out of the country, said: “What a pity he will not be alive to witness PDP regain its rightful place in the polity. The last two years must have no doubt put a toll on him. May his soul rest in peace.”
Nigeria Has Lost One of its Finest Politicians, Says Obanikoro
Former Minister of State for Defense, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has condoled with the family of the former chairman, Board of Trustees, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, fondly called Mr. Fix It.
In a statement yesterday, Obanikoro expressed shock at the news but affirmed that Pa Anenih lived a good and fulfilled life worthy of emulation.
According to him, the country has lost a nationalist and one of its finest politician who had contributed tremendously to national development and mentored many who are in the top echelon of the nation’s polity and in the business world.
The statement reads in part: “I was stunned to hear about the passing of our father, grandfather and leader, Chief Tony Anenih. I however take solace in the fact that he lived a good life and was a shinning example to all of us.
“He was a nationalist and a patriot who contributed tremendously to the development and stability of our national polity.
“Though he was advanced in age, as human beings, I would have loved for him to be around for a longer period to serve as a moderating voice in our polity that has become extremely partisan with ethnic and religious colouration.
“May Almighty Allah repose his soul and give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Diri, Agbedi Lament Anenih’s Demise
A member of the House of Representatives from Bayelsa State, Hon. Douye Diri, said Anenih was an institution. “Nigeria has just lost a political colossus,” he mourned.
To another member of the House of Representatives, Hon Fred Agbedi, “the leader, ‘Mr. Fix It’ is gone. A security czar and political icon of very enduring relevance died having lived a very fulfilled life.
“We shall miss his humble strategic analysis and operation prowess. His legacies and perspectives shall continue to be in discuss and outlive him. Adieu! Rest in peace.”