Former President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the family of the late Chief Tony Anenih, who died Sunday at the age of 85, describing him as a patriot and mentor to many Nigerians.
Jonathan stated this in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, on Monday.
He described the death as the exit of the great nationalist and founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which was a sad loss to the party and the nation.
He said that the rich political experience, sincere patriotism and deep wisdom of late Anenih were qualities Nigerians still needed to cultivate for national cohesion, growth and development.
“Late Chief Tony Anenih was a great asset to our dear nation. For a long time, he remained a leading light in our party and in Nigeria’s political firmament, charting the course for peace, unity and the entrenchment of true democracy in our nation.
“Even in old age and in retirement Chief Tony Anenih continued to inspire and mentor younger politicians as a demonstration of his deep commitment to Nigeria’s growth and progress.
“He was indeed a leader with an exceptional knack for initiating well-considered strategies for political stability in the nation.
Jonathan said that Anenih served the country diligently in different capacities, distinguishing himself in the security systems, business, politics and peace-building.
“Anenih left a legacy of remarkable achievements through selfless service to humanity and deep commitment to peace, democracy, party loyalty and national unity.
He prayed God Almighty to provide succour to his family members, the government, people of Edo and others who mourn, and grant his soul eternal rest.
Similarly, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said that the immeasurable contribution of late Anenih to the unity, peace and stability of the country is not hidden.
The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said that the deceased was known across Nigeria’s political spectrum for his stance for the unity and stability of the country.
“Chief Anenih was one of those who fought and earned our current democracy.
“He strongly believed that the unity and stability of the nation under a democratic government is not negotiable.
“This was vividly reflected in his past roles on related issues in the political history of our country.”
He added that the deceased would be remembered for living a life of tremendous service to the nation while serving as a senior police officer, National Chairman, SDP, in the aborted third republic, and former Works Minister.
“For his good deeds and contributions toward peace and stability of the country, his name would continue to appear in gold whenever the history of this country is being rewritten.”
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, says the death of Chief Tony Anenih, has left a vacuum in the political landscape.
Abubakar said this in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Mr Paul Ibe, on Monday in Abuja.
He noted that role of the deceased had played in ensuring stability not only in the PDP but also in the country at large, stood him out as a patriot who dedicated his life to the service of humanity.
Abubakar said that the late Anenih did his best for the country, adding that his death at a time the nation was going into electioneering campaigns was saddening. “Indeed, I have lost a great friend of decades.
“I am particularly pained that Chief Anenih left the stage at a time the party and the nation need his wealth of experience the more, especially in our collective quest to restore good governance and democratic ideals in our country.”
Abubakar, who described Anenih as a great political colossus and patriot, said his ability to consistently, at every turn, resolve knotty political puzzles, earned him the sobriquet of ‘Mr. Fix It’.
He commiserated with the family of the deceased, the government and people of Edo State and urged them to take solace in the fact that the elder statesman left his indelible footprints on the annals of the nation’s democratic history.
On his part, former Senate President David Mark said that Anenih lived an eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation.
Mark, in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Paul Mumeh, on Monday in Abuja, said that Anenih’s death was a huge loss to the nation and devastating to the political class.
He noted that the politicians had benefited from his reservoir of experience to navigate through the murky waters.
He recalled Anenih’s exploits and contributions to the political evolution of Nigeria since the Second Republic, describing the late politician as a political icon who added value to the polity.
“Chief Anenih stamped his authority in the political arena and left his positive footprint on the sand of time.
“In the Second Republic, as the then Chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in Bendel State, he led the party to victory.
“During the ill-fated Third Republic, he was the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that led the party to success in an election variously described as the freest, fairest and most credible election in the history of Nigeria.
“On the return of democracy in 1998/99, Anenih played the leading role in the evolution of PDP and earned the sobriquet of Mr. Fix it’ and Leader.
“No doubt, Anenih has left a huge vacuum that would be difficult to fill at least within the political class.”
Mark said that Nigeria would miss Anenih’s wise counsel and contributions to the political development of the country.
Anenih was a former PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman and Minister of Works.
Similarly, former Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has mourned late Chief Tony Anenih, describing him as a charismatic elder statesman.
He said Anenih had a unique passion for providing solutions to governance for the country.
Babangida, in a statement by Abdulrauf Zubairu, his Media Aide and made available to NAN in Minna, said Anenih’s demise was a big loss to the political scene in Nigeria.
“Indeed Nigeria and Nigerians will greatly miss a political master strategist in the next political dispensation,” he said.
Babangida extended his condolences to the immediate family of late Anenih, the Oba of Benin, government and people of Edo as well as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Anenih, former Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, died on Sunday in Abuja.