Tony Anenih, former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, has died, aged 85.
A source in Abuja revealed that Anenih died in the federal capital on Sunday evening at Cedarcrest Hospital.
Although his family has yet to officially confirm his death, Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Governor of Delta State, has already described the passing away as painful.
“I have just received the sad news of the death of one of Nigeria’s greatest nationalists, Chief Tony Anenih. His passing is a painful reminder that the pool of our committed nationalist leaders is depleting,” said Uduaghan in a statement released by Monoyo Edon, his media assistant.
“Chief Anenih was like a father-figure to me privately and on my political sojourn. He gave me the privilege of his listening ears in troubled and in good times.
“I shall forever cherish the very good memories we shared together, he was my run-to adviser who threw his doors open to me, even at short notice. I generously tapped from his wealth of experience and I am the better for it today.
“His death may be painful, but I thank God for the selfless life he lived and the legacies, worth emulating by all patriots, that he left behind. I pray that the Almighty God grant his soul eternal rest and the Anenih’s family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Similarly, the Edo State Government has commiserated with the Anenih family, Governor Godwin Obaseki saying the entire state was shocked by the loss and described the late politician as a leader who made enormous contributions to the development of the state and the entire country.
According to Wikipedia, Mr Anthony Akhakon Anenih was born in Uzenema-Arue in Uromi. In 1951 he joined the Nigeria police force in Benin City. Working at home, he obtained secondary school qualifications.
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. He served as a police orderly to the first Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
He worked as an instructor in various police colleges, and in 1975 was assigned to the Administrative Staff College (ASCON), Lagos. He retired from the police as a Commissioner of police. Mr Anenih was a state chairman of Nigeria’s then ruling party, NPN, between 1981 and 1983.
Mr Anenih was also the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party in 1993 under whose platform Moshood Abiola won the June 12, 1993 presidential election. Mr Abiola was later imprisoned by the Sani Abacha dictatorship with many of his supporters accusing Mr Anenih of betraying the June 12 cause.