Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the death of former Minister of Works, Anthony Anenih, as the end of one of the most inspiring chapters of Nigeria’s history.
This is as Edo former Governor, Lucky Igbinedion said his death has left a large space in the political life of Edo State and Nigeria at large.
Chief Obasanjo in a condolence letter to the family of the deceased, said Anenih lived a well-fulfilled life and that God had been kind to him in very many ways.
“Chief Tony Anenih’s life was an archetypal lesson in public service and leadership at its best,” the former President said in the one page letter made available by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.
“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 Mr Anenih as minister in his first cabinet in 1999, added, “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,” Mr Obasanjo stated.
“It is understandable that you and other members of the family would feel a sense of loss at the transition of a man who has, for many years, served as patriarch, mentor and pillar for the family and Uzenema-Arue community in Uromi, Edo State.
“As we continue to draw inspiration from Chief Tony Anenih’s legacies and recommit to upholding, deepening and expanding those numerous positive contributions that he had made to Nigeria, I pray that God Almighty will grant us all the fortitude to bear this great loss, and may his gentle soul find eternal repose.”
Lucku Igbinedion said that Anenih’s death has created a huge vacuum in the political life of Edo State and Nigeria at large.
This is even as the State chapter if the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said it received the death of Anenih with shock.
Igbinedion who expressed grief over the death of the former PDP chieftain, stressed that his death was a personal loss to him.
In a message of condolence to the Anenih family, Chief Igbinedion said he received the news of the demise of the elder statesman with a heavy heart and a great shock.
He described the late politician as an enigma of note and a bridge builder with a large heart.
He saluted Anenih’s contributions in the restoration of democracy in Nigeria and for launching his dear state, Edo, to political limelight in the comity of Nigerian states.
The former Governor, while praying God to comfort the Anenih family in this trying time and at all times, he said he and his immediate family would surely miss the late political icon.
He also enjoined Anenih’s immediate family, political sons and daughters, associates, friends and well-wishers to take consolation in the fact that the late Chief Anenih invested his time, life and resources in the mentoring and development of humanity.
The State chapter of the PDP, in a condolence message endorsed by it’s Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, said to them in Edo State, Chief Anenih was their “pillar, light, pathfinder and a bridge builder.”
The statement said: “It was with a heavy heart that we received the news of the death of our leader, father and mentor, Chief Anthony Anenih.
“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.
“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 can aspire without fear or man imposed limitations. A great organiser, mobiliser and an inspiration to men and women of goodwill.”