Chief Tony Anenih, a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, died on Sunday, 28 October, 2018, at the age of 85.
The elder statesman who had been sick for sometime reportedly died at the Cedar Crest Hospital, Abuja.
He was born on 4 August, 1933, in Uzenema-Arue in Uromi.
Anenih who served as a police orderly to the first Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1951 in Benin City and retired as a Police Commissioner.
He attended the Police College in Ikeja, and then the Bramshill Police College, Basingstoke, England, in 1966. He also attended the International Police Academy Washington DC in 1970.
Following his retirement from the police, Anenih joined politics. He was State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria between 1981 and 1983.
He was also the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 1992 and 1993. In 1994, he was a member of the Constitutional Conference.
Anenih (aka Mr. Fix it) later served as a Minister of Works from 1999 to 2003 under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Notable politicians including President Muhammadu Buhari described his death as a great loss to the nation, saying that he lived a life of service to Nigeria.
“President Buhari also commiserates with the government and people of Edo State and the Peoples Democratic Party on the passing of their illustrious son and former Chairman, Board of Trustees,” Buhari said in a statement issued by his aide, Femi Adesina.
“As a frontline figure in the annals of our country’s political history, the President attests that Chief Anenih lived a life of service, as State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria, National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, chieftain of the PDP, and a former Minister of Works.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki in his reaction noted that Anenih would be greatly missed.
“Chief Tony Anenih was a consummate leader statesman who played several defining roles throughout Nigeria’s democracy. He will be remembered for his great patriotism. And his insight into national issues. He will be dearly missed. Rest in peace, Chief.”
The Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, also described him as a pan-Nigerian and patriot who served the nation to the best of his ability.
“Chief Anenih contributed so much to deepening our democracy and setting the nation on the path of progress at the end of many decades of military rule.”
His political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed regret over his death, saying that his death had robbed the party and the nation another experienced man whose love for the country was beyond description.
The Edo State Government (his home state) in a statement on Sunday evening by Governor Godwin Obaseki, said that the entire state was saddened by the loss. He noted that as a politician, Anenih contributed to the development of the state and the country.