“He was a patriot and a nationalist who belonged to that rare breed of Nigerians whose interests and associations cut across all sections,” Obasanjo stated.
Laide Raheem, Abeokuta, Rose Ejembi, Makurdi, Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Tony Osauzo, Benin
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the death of a former minister of Works, Chief Anthony Anenih, as end of one of the most inspiring chapters of the nation’s history.
The late police commissioner died on Sunday, at 85.
He was also a former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Obasanjo, in a condolence letter to the head of the Anenih family, a copy which was made available by his Special Assistant Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, to newsmen in Abeokuta, yesterday, noted that “Anenih lived a well-fulfilled life and God had been kind to him in very many ways.
According to the former president in the one-page letter, “Chief Tony Anenih’s life was an archetypal lesson in public service and leadership at its best. He had to himself a life full of accomplishments and meritorious services to the local and national communities.
“He served the nation with devotion and diligence in his chosen profession. His service in the Nigeria Police Force was distinguished by high professional standard.
“He was an epitome of humility and quite dignity both in service and retirement, even though he rose to the rank of commissioner of police before retirement.”
Obasanjo, who appointed Anenih as minister of Works in 1999, added that, “in the course of a lifetime of remarkable contributions to the political sector of our nation, he (Anenih) became a national icon and authentic role model; one of the outstanding leaders of our generation.
“His political contribution to the Fourth Republic, notably as the honourable minister of Works and Housing, under my able leadership as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was stabilising.
“Indeed, he was a patriot and a nationalist of no mean order, who belonged to that rare breed of Nigerians whose interests and associations cut across all sections–tribe, language, region, religion and social status,” Obasanjo stated.
On his part, Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom described Anenih’s death as a big loss to the country.
Governor Ortom in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase stated that Chief “Anenih was a father to all, a versatile administrator and patriot who was very passionate about the country,” Ortom said and posited further that “Anenih’s selfless role as an elder statesman was felt in many aspects of the country’s development.
Similarly, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, commiserated with the family members, the government and the people of Edo State, on Anenih’s death.
Governor Okowa also conveyed his condolences to the family of the late Iyasele of Esanland, and described him as “a committed patriot who served the nation at the highest levels with an uncommon sense of patriotism and unwavering dedication.”
In a statement issued in Asaba, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, the governor said he was saddened by Anenih’s demise.
“He was a committed patriot, an astute politician, who worked to better the lots of his people and Nigerians in general. Through his purposeful leadership and development strides, the late Anenih influenced the dualisation of the Benin-Asaba Road, Benin-Warri Road and the Benin By-pass Road which brought about unprecedented development to the Niger Delta.”
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 PDP.
To former presidential adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, the passage of Chief Anenih, is a monumental loss to the country and the political space.
In a statement released by her Media Office, yesterday, Ita-Giwa recalled how she worked with the late Anenih, in different capacities, in promoting stability, national development and sustaining democracy.
She described Anenih as “a nationalist, a democrat and a patriot whose love for country and the people cannot be faulted.
“The death of our leader, Pa Tony Anenih, came to me as a shock but, I take solace in the fact that he lived a very good and fulfilled life.
“I worked with him day and night and noted his passion and love for the country especially in sustaining the democratic process. I pray for the repose of his soul and for his family, the fortitude to bear this monumental loss.”
Also, Edo state chapter of the PDP said it received the news with a heavy heart. The party, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, described Anenih as “a unifier, builder of men and a great political strategist.
“National leader, as he was affectionately called, served Nigeria with all his might. He was a unifier, builder of men and a great political strategist. He was popularly known as “Mr Fix-it,” for his ability to solve and navigate knotty political situations.
“In Edo state, he was our pillar, light, pathfinder, bridge builder, and detribalised leader. He shone brightly and lit many candles. He was a leader par excellence. Coming from a minority zone and from a minority tribe in our state, he exceeded natural barriers so that others could aspire without fear or man-imposed limitations. (He was) a great organiser, mobiliser and an inspiration to men and women of goodwill.”