Jonathan: Anenih Played Politics of Ideology, Commitment


• Saraki, Secondus, Oshiomhole, George, others pay tributes

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday said the late Chief Tony Anenih was one of the few Nigerian politicians who played politics of ideologies and commitment.

He added that despite a few unpleasant things done to him as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he served the party wholeheartedly till his last day.

The former president made this known in Abuja at a church service as part of the activities lined up for his (Anenih) final journey home.

Anenih who died on October 28, 2018, would be buried on December 1, 2018, in Uromi, Edo State.

Dignitaries at the church service were Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Jibril Walid; the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; PDP chieftain, Chief Bode George; National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus; Governor of Edo State, Godswin Obaseki, among others.

Jonathan stressed: “When I looked at the few activities of Anenih politically, I feel he’s one of the few Nigerian politicians that you can say played politics of either ideology or commitment.

“From the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, to my time, there are few things that were done to Anenih that were not too good, I can say if it were other people they would have left PDP, maybe go into another party.

“But no matter the political ups and downs, he remained steady, he remained committed in PDP. He stayed and served the party until his last day. It’s difficult to have that kind of character. Yet there are still others like that in the party, but Anenih was one of the foremost leaders of PDP.”

The former president also revealed that the day he was told that Anenih was admitted in the hospital, he went there to check on him and see how he was doing.

He said: “When I got go the hospital, he was lying in the bed, he struggled to explain to me what happened and in fact he summoned the doctor to explain to me; if I was not a son to him, he couldn’t have done that.

“The doctor had to show me the scan on his brain, and told me about the injury he sustained when he fell, and that he was bleeding in the brain, but he gave me hope that the bleeding appeared to stop and if that happened, we will have hope that he would be sustained and that the next stop would be to take him out of the country for a follow up.

“I was hopeful. The next day I travelled back to Bayelsa State, but after few days when I made enquiry, I was told that he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit. For five minutes, I couldn’t do anything because the condition I saw him was critical and if he had been moved to ICU, that means things were getting bad.

“Of course, before I returned to Abuja, one of the saddest stories came that he had left us. It was a terrible story for people like us. He mentored me as his son until he left us.”

Saraki said for over 40 years, Anenih worked tirelessly for the country and for the party.

He stated that he was always looking for solutions, peace and bridge building to unite the country and looking for compromises.

The Senate president added: “If we have many people like him, this country would be a great country.”

On his part, Oshiomhole said despite their political difference, he always referred to him as his son, adding that he is always proud to call him father.

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