By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – Former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori has described the death of former Works Minister, Chief Tony Anenih as the end of a remarkable era in Nigerian politics.
In a statement signed by Tony Eluemunor, his Media Assistant, the former governor said the deceased was a depository of political wisdom, a library of contemporary Nigerian political history and the nation’s foremost political tactician for decades.
Ibori added that Anenih’s life should be studied like a book by anyone desirous of going far not just in politics, but in life generally, because “he pulled himself up by his bootstraps and remained almost unequalled as a political leader and pathfinder since the 1970s till his retirement after the last general elections.”
The statement continued: “Anenih was a self-made man who did not have the benefit of attending a secondary school but studied at home for his West African School Certificate while he was already in the Police Force.
“With that certificate in his pockets, the sky was his limit as he attended the Police College in Ikeja, and merited to be selected for further training in the Bramshill Police College, Basingstoke, England in 1966 and the International Police Academy, Washington DC in 1970.
“Perhaps as a sign of what was to come, he served as a Police Orderly to the first Governor-General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. He retired as a Commissioner of Police in 1975.”
Ibori noted that Anenih first served notice that he was a master political tactician as State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria ,NPN, from 1981 to 1983, when he spearheaded the late Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia’s election as civilian Governor of Bendel State.
When democracy returned, he was National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992 and 1993, and masterminded the election of Chief M. K. O. Abiola as President. Yet, it was in the Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP, that he earned the sobriquet “Mr. Fix It”.
He prayed God to grant the soul of the departed eternal repose and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.