Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the late former Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, prevailed on the PDP leaders in Edo to stop unwarranted criticisms against him shortly before his demise.
He stated this yesterday when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late elder statesman.
According to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, Oshiomhole described Chief Anenih as a great son of Edo state whom Nigeria will be missed.
Those who accompanied the national chairman to pay condolence visit are; National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu and his Chief of Staff, Abass Braimah.
Oshiomhole assured Smith Edoga, a relative of the Anenih’s who was at the deceased residence that he will visit again when the deceased family members are back from abroad.
The statement said the national chairman of the APC, had spoken about how Anenih told the PDP leaders in Edo to stop unwarranted criticisms against the former governor.
While lamenting his demise, Oshiomhole said, “I acknowledge that Chief Anenih was a strong political leader whose influence went beyond Edo State considering that he comes from Edo State, a minority, he was able to stamp his authority, dominate his party and seems to influence the direction of his party as long as he did. So for PDP family, I believe it was a huge loss but on my part, we in Edo recognized him as a father, even by mere reason of his age, he was old enough to be my father and I never hesitated to admit to that.
“But I have always told him when you have many children, they may not all agree with the way Daddy run the house. And politically I was not able to agree with his own political values and some of the tactics he resorted to. But I have respect for him. But the good news is that, as if he knew this was going to happen, about a year ago, I attended an event in Uromi at the Catholic Church, and that was shortly after he returned from his medical trip abroad.”
Oshiomhole further recounted that “on that occasion, he (Anenih) said I have told my wife just that he has forgiven all those who offended him in his political life particularly Adams, even if he does not ask for it.
“This was in the Catholic Church. We are both Catholics. And when it was my turn to also make a speech, I also said as a father I have also forgiven him as his son. But the good news is that these issues were never personal, we did not quarrel over family land, we did not quarrel over family issues, we quarrelled over what is the best way to govern Edo state,” he said.