By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Following the death of former Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and erstwhile Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih, family, friends and political associates flocked his Abuja residence located at Sunrise Hills, Asokoro, Abuja opposite the Mogadishu Barracks to commiserate with his family few minutes after his death became public knowledge.
The Iyasele of Esanland, fondly referred to as “Mr. Fix it,” owing largely to his dexterity in fetching his party electoral victories died of an undisclosed ailment at the Cedar Crest Hospital, Abuja on Sunday, Vanguard gathered.
Anenih, a former Police officer, was born on August 4, 1933 in Uzenema-Arue in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo state.
He attended the police college in Ikeja, and was selected for further training in the Bramshill Police College, Basingstoke, England in 1966 and the International Police Academy, Washington DC in 1970.
Anenih served as a police orderly to the first Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (also of blessed memory).
He worked as an instructor in various police colleges, and in 1975 was assigned to the Administrative Staff College (ASCON), Lagos and retired as Police Commissioner.
Anenih was State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between 1981 and 1983, and played a huge role in the election of Samuel Ogbemudia as governor of Bendel state (now defunct).
However, the governorship was cut short by the military takeover of December 1983.
He was National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, (1992-1993) whose Presidential candidate, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale, M.K.O Abiola was elected, only for same to be annulled by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida (retd).
Anenih was a member of the Constitutional Conference in 1994 as well as a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, until April 2002, when he joined the PDP.
He was said to have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo as the presidential candidate of the PDP In 1999 and national coordinator of his campaign organization in 1999 and 2003.
Chief Anenih announced his disengagement from active politics in November 2016 during the presentation of his autobiography, “My Life and Nigerian Politics.”
Confirming the demise of Anenih to our correspondent, PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said the party was pained by the “sad news” adding however that a formal statement from the deceased family was being expected.
Mohammed Abba Gana, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory was one of the early callers at the Abuja home of the Anenihs as at the time of filing this report.