By Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the death of former Minister of Works, Anthony Anenih, as the end of one of the most inspiring chapters of Nigeria’s history.
Mr Obasanjo in a condolence letter to the family of the deceased, said Mr Anenih lived a well-fulfilled life and that God had been kind to him in very many ways.
“Chief Tony Anenih’s life was an archetypal lesson in public service and leadership at its best,” the former president said in the one page letter made available by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi. “He had to himself a life full of accomplishments and meritorious services to the local and national communities.
“He served the nation with devotion and diligence in his chosen profession. His service in the Nigeria Police Force was distinguished by high professional standard.
“He was an epitome of humility and quite dignity both in service and retirement, even though he rose to the rank of Commissioner of Police before retirement.”
Mr Obasanjo, who appointed Mr Anenih as minister in his first cabinet in 1999, added, “in the course of a lifetime of remarkable contributions to the political sector of our nation, he (Anenih) became a national icon and authentic role model; one of the outstanding leaders of our generation.
“His political contribution to the Fourth Republic, notably as the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing under my able leadership as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was stabilising.
“Indeed, he was a patriot and a nationalist of no mean order, who belonged to that rare breed of Nigerians whose interests and associations cut across all sections – tribe, language, region, religion and social status,” Mr Obasanjo stated.
“It is understandable that you and other members of the family would feel a sense of loss at the transition of a man who has, for many years, served as patriarch, mentor and pillar for the family and Uzenema-Arue community in Uromi, Edo State.
“As we continue to draw inspiration from Chief Tony Anenih’s legacies and recommit to upholding, deepening and expanding those numerous positive contributions that he had made to Nigeria, I pray that God Almighty will grant us all the fortitude to bear this great loss, and may his gentle soul find eternal repose.”