Anenih: As “Mr Fix It” Takes A Bow | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Anenih: As “Mr Fix It” Takes A Bow

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ekene Okoro –  Lagos


Not many saw it coming. If the fate of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Adamu Muazu was already sealed, the resignation of the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Anthony Anenih came as a surprise to many.

man-in-the-newsWhile members of the party were coming to terms with the resignation of Muazu, Anenih’s decision to throw in the towel without any sort of pressure was too much for the party to stomach in one day.

For one who has seen it all and done it all in the PDP, it was finally time to take a bow, ending an era of a man who held sway in Nigeria’s political terrain in the last 16 years.

In the last 16 years, Anenih stood tall among his contemporaries. He was revered in the ruling PDP and was a kingmaker of some sort. Those who had political ambition courted his friendship, knowing his voice was law in the PDP.

He played a pivotal role during the era of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and was evidently a top member of the kitchen cabinet of the ex-president.

Obviously, the Octogenarian, who earned the nickname, ‘Mr Fix It’, perhaps had seen the handwriting on the wall and in a bid to avoid the twilight of his eventful political sojourn be tainted by anyone, quietly exited the stage.

The dismal outing of the PDP in the 2015 presidential election was the first major defeat the party was suffering and to Anenih, it was the sign that it was time to take a rest.

Anenih’s one-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan informing of his decision to quit as BoT Chairman had cited the current state of affairs in the party as a major factor for his stepping down.

However, the former Minister of Works and Housing was quick to add that said he was stepping down to allow President Jonathan to succeed him as BoT chairman.

The PDP will find it hard to find a ready replacement for Anenih as it gets set to pick up the pieces and reunite the party ahead of future electoral battles.

Born on August 4, 1933, Anthony Anenih, joined the Nigeria Police Force in Benin City in 1951. He was Bendel State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between 1981 and 1983, helping Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia become elected as civilian Governor of the state. However, the governorship was cut short by the military takeover of December 1983.

He was National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, from 1992 to 1993, when he played a pivotal role in the election of the business magnate, Chief M.K.O. Abiola as president. He was a member of the Constitutional Conference in 1994. He was also a member of the People’s Democratic Movement, PDM, until April 2002, when he transferred to the PDP.

Anenih known as ‘Mr. Fix It’ was said to have masterminded the April 26, 2002 declaration of President Obasanjo at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

He was deputy national coordinator of the PDP campaign in the 1999 and 2003 elections. He was appointed Minister of Works and Housing in 1999 and subsequently became Chairman of BoT of the PDP.