Tony Anenih Dies at 85

The former Minister of Works and Housing, from Edo State, died yesterday at an Abuja hospital after a brief illness. He was 85.

His son, Mr. Anthony Anenih Junior, confirmed this to journalists in a statement on behalf of the family.

The statement said burial arrangements by the family would be announced subsequently.

The statement titled ‘Our Patriarch, Chief Anthony Akhakon Anenih, Passes On’, read: “With a heavy heart and total submission to the will of the Almighty God, the family of Chief Anthony Akhakon Anenih, CFR, the Iyasele of Esanland, announces his passing on to glory today, Sunday, October 28, 2018 after a brief illness.

“Aged 85, Chief Anthony Akhakon Anenih, is survived by many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“A beloved patriarch, he enjoyed God’s uncommon grace while alive.

“He served God and humanity with commitment.  He also served his fatherland to the best of his ability.

“We will all sorely miss him. But his legacies live on.

“Burial arrangements by the family will be announced subsequently.”

Anenih, popularly known as “Mr Fix It” had, while reflecting on the happenings in the country in July, said he would not celebrate his 85th birthday with pomp on August 4, 2018 because Nigeria had in recent times witnessed many losses, bloodshed and apprehensions.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday extended heartfelt condolences to the Anenih family on the death of its beloved patriarch and elder statesman.

Buhari in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, commiserated with the government and people of Edo State and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the passing of their illustrious son and former Chairman, Board of Trustees.

As a frontline figure in the annals of our country’s political history, the president said 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 former Minister of Works.

He affirmed that across the political spectrum of Nigeria, Anenih was known for his strong views on issues pertaining to the unity and stability of the nation.

He prayed almighty God to grant Anenih’s soul eternal rest and comfort all who mourn the octogenarian.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara also condoled with the government and people of Edo State over the demise of elder statesman.

Dogara, in a condolence message on Sunday in Abuja, said “We have lost a father, counselor, leader par excellence and a patriot who gave his all for the unity of this country.”

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, in a statement last, expressed sadness over Anenih’s death, describing it as a huge loss to the state and the nation. He said Anenih devoted a better part of his life to the development of the state and the country.

“Edo State has suffered a huge loss with the death of Chief Anenih, the Iyasele of Esan land. Chief Anenih rose to the occasion when it mattered most, to defend the interest of Edo State and her people. He attracted development to the state and groomed  several Edo sons and daughters who are now  active players in the nation’s political space.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss, more so at a time like this, when Nigeria needs his wisdom and guidance as we approach the election season,” he said.

Also, a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, described the late Anenih as one of Nigeria’s foremost politicians whose death ended a great chapter in the nation’s political history.

Daniel, in his condolence message signed by his Media Officer Ayo Giwa, said Anenih was a hugely endowed political leader and foremost nationalist who served Nigeria in various capacities during his lifetime.

He said the country had lost an illustrious son and colourful politician whose administrative prowess and political sagacity remain a benchmark and history will report him positively for his exemplary roles.

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