More prominent Nigerians yesterday poured encomiums on the late former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, who died on Sunday.
Anenih, also a former Minister for Works, passed on at a private hospital in Abuja. He was aged 85 years.
Among the eminent personalities who poured praises on the renowned politician were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd); former President Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, and Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson; and Benue State Governor, Samuel Otorm.
Others are former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; former Minister of Special Duties, Mr. Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, and former caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ahmed Makarfi
Obasanjo described the death of Anenih as the end of one of the most inspiring chapters of the nation’s political history.
Obasanjo, in a condolence letter addressed to the head of Anenih’s family, copy of which was made available by his Special Assistant (Media), Kehinde Akinyemi, to newsmen in Abeokuta, stated that Anenih lived a well-fulfilled life and that God was very kind to him in many ways.
The former president noted that as Nigerians continue to draw inspiration from Anenih’s legacies and re-commitment to upholding, deepening and expanding those numerous positive contributions that he had made to Nigeria, he prayed that God Almighty will grant them the fortitude to bear this great loss.
Also, Babangida described Anenih’s demise the death as a “a loss to Nigeria”
He said the deceased was a “charismatic elder statesman that has unique passion for providing solutions in the governance of the country.” On part, Jonathan commiserated with the family of Anenih , describing him as a patriot and mentor to many Nigerians.
Atiku, on his part, described as shocking, the news of the death of Anenih.
Atiku, also the presidential candidate of the PDP in 2019, said in a statement in Abuja that Anenih’s death has left a vacuum in this country as his roles in ensuring the stability, not only of our great party but also for our nation at large, stood him out as a patriot who dedicated his life to the service of humanity.
To Saraki, Anenih was a consummate politician, master strategist and committed statesman, who contributed greatly to the development of Nigeria’s democracy.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, he said: “Chief Anenih was a patriot, bridge builder and astute politician who played several defining roles in building Nigeria’s democracy. He will be remembered for his wisdom and his insight into national issues.”
To the National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus Anenih was an outstanding leader who would be greatly missed in the polity.
The PDP national chairman remarked that the party had wished Anenih to be around to see the party regain power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but said God knows the best as he creates and takes away at his own will.
Amosun on his part, said the death of Anenih is a great loss to the nation, describing him as an uncommon politician.
The governor, in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adedayo Adeneye, said the late Anenih was a distinguished Nigerian and worthy statesman.
He said as a founding father of the sustained democratic rule, which Nigeria has been enjoying since 1999, he wished the late politician lived longer to reap the fruits of the new Nigeria, as entrenched by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
When THISDAY visited the Asokoro residence of late Anenih yesterday, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; Turaki; Senator Ordia Clifford; and former Chief of Staff to President Jonathan, Mike Oghiadomhe, were among eminent Nigerians that visited the family.
On his part, Makarfi, has extolled the qualities of the late Anineh, saying he was a statesman and a nationalist.
In a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna, Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State , said he was saddened by news of Anenih’s death.
In his condolence message, the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, said Nigeria lost a political colossus in the late Anenih.
Governor Dickson, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said he received the news of Chief Anenih’s passing with shock.
He described Anenih as an astute politician and elder statesman whose vacuum will be difficult to fill.
The governor, who is also chairman of the South-South Governors Forum, said the PDP, the South -South geo-political zone and the entire country will miss Anenih for his selfless contributions to the growth of PDP, development of the region and Nigeria in general.
In his message, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said the death of Anenih was a big loss to Nigeria.
Governor Ortom described Anenih as a father to all; a versatile administrator and patriot who was very passionate about the country.