‘My father was a disciplined, detribalised Nigerian,’ says Anenih’s son

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● As Ikimi, Ibori, Okpere, Agba, others grace fifth memorial anniversary

Businessman and politician, Mr Tony Anenih Jnr said on Saturday in Benin that his late father and astute politician, Chief Anthony Akhakon Anenih, was a disciplined and detribalized Nigerian who tended to the needs of all who came his way without discrimination.

Tony Anenih Jnr, who is the Organising Secretary of the PDP in Edo State, spoke at the fifth memorial anniversary held in Benin in honour of the late patriarch of the Anenih family of Uzenema-Arue community, Uromi, in Esan Northeast Local Government of Edo State.

He said that discipline and interactions devoid of tribalism were the virtues that made his late father to succeed in his political career and other ventures.

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According to him, “My father was a very disciplined person and a detribalised Nigerian, who was not influenced by political and religious inclinations in works and interactions with other people.

“He was a loving and trustworthy man, who did not only give his best to develop his children and family dependents, but also extended the same gesture to his local community, political associates, the Christian faith and Nigerians at large.”

Anenih Jnr. said that the memorial anniversary was one of the ways the family had decided to celebrate and remember the late political gladiator and celebrate his legacies, adding that their late father, Chief Anenih’s life and times were quite remarkable.

He noted how the late Chief Tony Anenih was able to unite politicians and all sections of the country in his tireless bid to rally other well-meaning Nigerians to build a united, very strong and formidable country.

At the mass service held at the St. Paul Catholic Church, the officiating priest, Rev. Fr. Pascal Omolon, who prayed for the repose of the soul of Chief Tony Anenih, also eulogised the prominent politician whom he described as a man who came to lift the Nigerian people and the Catholic Church to which he dedicated his times and resources.

In a lecture that he delivered in his honour, Director of Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts and Visiting Professor at the Emerald Energy Institute at the University of Port Harcourt, Dr Sam Amadi, described the late Anenih, among other commendations, as a man who had demonstrated a true sense of uncommon leadership.

Those who spoke at the reception included a former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, who described Chief Anenih as an authentic leader, who deserved the moniker of “The Leader” because of the trusted and dependable leadership he provided his teeming followers.

Ibori said the late Chief Tony Anenih was a father and a practical role model, who made him and numerous others in the politics of Nigeria.

The immediate past Minister of State for Budget and National Planning and governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress 9APC), Prince Clem Agba, took the opportunity of the reception to heap the moral burden on the Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by tasking the party to cede its 2024 governorship ticket to Mr Tony Anenih Jnr.

Agba said that was the only way to appreciate and honour the memory of Chief Tony Anenih for his immense leadership contributions to the PDP and the leaders of the party that he made while on this side.

Agba, who said Tony Jnr was his very good friend, said that he looked forward to a keen electoral challenge with him (Anenih Jnr) on the PDP platform and himself on the platform of the APC, declaring that either of them was capable of lifting Edo State from its present maladministration and providing it with a much better leadership.

Agba’s address was a sequel to that of the State Chairman of the PDP, Dr Tony Aziegbemhin, a protégé of the late Chief Tony Anenih, who reeled out glowing encomiums on the late politician.

Others who graced the anniversary event included a former National Chairman of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) and ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi (Akinrogun of Ife and PDP chieftain); former Minister of Aviation, AVM Anthony Okpere retd; former Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen; serving Edo Central zone senator, Monday Okpebholo (aka Akpakomiza); immediate past Edo Central senator, Clifford Ordia; former member of the House of Representatives for Esan Central/Esan West/Igueben federal constituency, Joe Edionwele, former chairman of Esan Northeast Local Government Area, Hon John Yakubu; former Director General of NTA and National Orientation Agency, Dr. Tonnie Iredia, and a two-time member of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Pachal Ugbome, among others.

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