BoT: How Anenih bounced back
By Henry Umoru
…Obasanjo absent at meeting
ABUJA— SIX years after he was removed as Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih on Monday bounced back to the position through a consensus.
Vanguard gathered that members of the BoT were not prepared for the election because the meeting was held primarily to receive and deliberate on the Professor Jerry Gana’s report to structure the membership of the board.
It will be recalled that on June 27, 2007, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged the new Chairman of BoT where he took over from the then Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih.
Chief Obasanjo was, however, absent at Monday’s meeting where Anenih whom he took over from then, was brought back to take over from him as his successor.
Vanguard also gathered yesterday that immediately after the discussions of the report, some members called for a date to be fixed for the election of a new Chairman, but this was rejected by majority of members who insisted that the election must be held immediately.
Those who were against the election being held argued that this was not the time for the party to go into an election to elect a Chairman for BoT because if an election was conducted, it would polarise the PDP. They also contended that members agreed that since BoT was simply advisory and not Executive, there was no need to go into such stress and rigour.
Having agreed to hold the election same day, Vanguard gathered that governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State was immediately nominated to be the returning officer.
It was at this point that the aspirants went out after leaders of the party had spoken with them of the need to be guided by the precedent set in March 24 National Convention where all the aspirants stepped down for Bamanga Tukur. All the aspirants for the position of BoT chairman then came in and announced that they were stepping down.
The aspirants before Anenih’s emergence were former Vice President Alex Ekwueme; former National Chairman, Dr. Amadu Ali; former Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Shaiubu Oyedokun; Chief Don Etiebet; former Senate President Ken Nnamani; and Chief Emmanuel Iwuayanwu, among others.
After they all stepped down, the returning officer, Governor Ibrahim Shema then announced Chief Tony Anenih as the consensus candidate which was greeted with applause by members.
‘’We all agreed that there should be a consensus candidate and there should be no need for election to avoid overheating the polity and at the end of the day, all the aspirants stepped down and Chief Tony Anenih emerged and everyone was happy including the President. The whole process was smooth and very lively.” the source said.