Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday joined other Nigerians in paying tribute to the late elder statesman, Chief Tony Anenih.
In a tribute during the requiem and a session of tributes in honour of the famed ‘Mr. Fix It’ of Nigeria’s politics at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja, Jonathan described Anenih as a mentor and strategist who would be sorely missed by the nation, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2019 poll.
Reminiscing his last encounter with Anenih, the former president credited the deceased with PDP’s victory in Bayelsa in the 1999 poll. Jonathan, who was accompanied by his wife, Patience, described Anenih as one of the few Nigerians that played the politics of ideology and not of the stomach.
He added: “He remains steadfast to the PDP. He stayed and served the party until his last days. He is one of the foremost leaders of the PDP. His death is coming at a time we need him. His exit is shocking. It is sad for us who knew him. We have lost a leader, a mentor and a strategist that would have been useful to us. We pray God to give the family the fortitude the bear the loss.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki said that the exit of Anenih should serve as a reminder to all on the legacies to leave behind to future generation of Nigerians.
Recalling Anenih’s relationship with his late father, Olusola Saraki, the number three citizen described Anenih as a bridge-builder whose political ideal was targeted towards uniting the country.
Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, described Anenih as a true father with a forgiving spirit.He added: “Each time I had the opportunity to meet him, despite our different political affiliations, he never hesitated to call me son and I never hesitated to call him my father. My last public outing with Anenih was at a Catholic Church in Uromi. He told the congregation, to my shock and disbelief, that he had decided to forgive anybody that offended him. He located my wife and I and said ‘including you, Adams, I have forgiven you.’ May God in His infinite mercy grant him eternal life. His loss is irreplaceable. We are happy that he left as a father of all of us in Edo State.”
PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, described Anenih as a father of the nation who was keen on ensuring the well-being of Nigerians.