Chief Anthony Anenih who was some months ago named as the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority has emerged as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh disclosed in a press statement on Monday night that Anenih’s unanimous election as the Chairman was a step towards ensuring peace and harmony within the party. He stated that with Anenih’s antecedents as a mobilizer and consensus builder over the years, he would contribute a great deal to ensure the stability of the party.
“Chief Anenih’s tireless participation and critical role in the formation of the PDP places him in good stead to provide wise counsel and direct the influential Board of Trustees to follow the noble ideals of the founders of the Party. His wealth of experience and acclaimed reputation as a democrat and consensus builder are assets that the Party needs at this critical point in our democratic evolution”, he stated. He went ahead to describe Anenih’s unaniomous election as the BOT Chairman as “another signal that the PDP is ever united and ready to overcome all perceived obstacles in our drive to provide focused leadership and service to the good people of Nigeria”. Olisa Metuh called on members to give their support and cooperation to the BOT Chairman.
A committee headed by Professor Jerry Gana to restructure the membership of the Board of Trustees submitted its report on Monday night and inside sources revealed that one of the clauses given for membership of the BOT was that any member of the Board that has decamped to another political party between 1999 and now, automatically loses the privilege to be a BOT member. The move according to some members was to cut the influence of people like Chief Don Etiebet, former Speaker, Ghali Umar N’aaba and former President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who contested as the candidate of the Action Congress in the 2007 presidential election. It is being said within the party that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo may yet be the beneficiary of the new move, though his influence too is gradually being cut in the party. Most of those affected by the new BOT membership rule are perceived to be anti-Obasanjo elements. However, with Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih as Chairman of the BOT and Chief Godswill Akpabio as the Chairman of the PDP Governor’s Forum (which is believed be the new antidote to moves made in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum), it may not be wrong to assume that President Goodluck Jonathan is in firm control of the party’s machinery.
While speaking on his unanimous selection as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Anenih said he is pleased to be the head of the “conscience of the party which is made up of elders, men of integrity, honour and experience”.