By Dapo Akinrefon
FORMER governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was in the forefront of the struggle for a return to democracy and also a former chieftain of NADECO has described the death of Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro as a patriot of the highest crust.

In his reminiscence to the NADECO struggle, Tinubu enthused that “Chief Enahoro gave his all.”
Also, he went down memory lane of Chief Enahoro’s public life, from a youthful political agitator and journalist in the First Republic, his journalist record as the youngest person to edit a newspaper in Nigeria, his role through the Nigerian Civil War as Federal Commissioner of Information and his romance with conservative politics in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the Second Republic.

Besides, he hailed Enahoro’s championing of the restructuring of Nigeria into a proper federation by pushing for a Sovereign National Conference and his role as national chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) after the annulment of the 12 June 1993 presidential election.

Aside this and perhaps for the for the first time, Tinubu revealed that the late nationalist lived in the Tinubu family house in Kakawa, Lagos, while he was a pupil at Kings College, Lagos.

He said “he (Enahoro) used to live in our house at Kakawa, on Lagos Island, while he was at King’s College in Lagos – but that was before I was born.”

In his tribute to the late elder statesman, he said “it is sad that Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro, the great patriot who moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence, is gone.   He lived to grand old age and he contributed his quota till he breathed his last.”

He, however, lamented that Nigeria still gropes around in her search for true federalism noting that “it is sad that he exited, while Nigeria still grapples to make real democracy out of civil rule that is going into its twelfth year.”

On Enahoro’s doggedness and consistency, the former governor explained that “you might not always agree with him.  But you can’t doubt that he was a patriot of the highest crust.  When democracy got threatened in our nation, during the jackboot Abacha years, he joined the younger elements, at great risks to his life, to fight the military to a standstill.”

“The result,” he stated,  “is the civil rule we all enjoy today.”

It is a pity that Nigeria never became the democracy of Chief Enahoro’s dream.  But that job is left for all of us he has left behind to do.”

Asked how best to help fulfil Enahoro’s unfulfilled dream, he maintained that the task was clear, if not so simple.

According to him, “we must ensure that the next general elections represent the will of the people.  Every vote must count and be counted.  The choice of the people must be installed to rule over them.  That is the only way we can do tribute to the memory of this great Nigerian, who gave his all to the service of his country.”


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