Mr. ‘Fix-It’ Tony Anenih was no patriot

Mr. ‘Fix-It’ Tony Anenih was no patriot

Chief Tony Anenih

Sonala Olumhense

Chief Anthony Anenih, one of the most influential chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party from 1999 to 2016 who was widely-known as “Mr. Fix-It,” died last week, aged 85.

A veteran of various political parties since the early 1980s, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him Minister for Works in his first term. He subsequently served twice as the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, and of the Board of the Nigeria Ports Authority.

His passing was followed by a heavy avalanche of tributes as frontline politicians praised the Edo State-born politician. Among others, President Muhammadu Buhari, former Presidents Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, and PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar called him a “patriot.”

He was a political colossus and a PDP hero and legend. But he was not a patriot by any stretch of the imagination.

But Buhari extolled him as a “frontline figure” in Nigeria’s political history.

Obasanjo called him “…a national icon and authentic role model…a patriot and a nationalist of no mean order…” Jonathan said Anenih’s name “would continue to appear in gold whenever the history of this country is being rewritten.”

As a culture, we do not speak ill of the dead. Well, we ought never to speak blatant falsehood before God either or betray the living through flagrant hypocrisy. Anenih was clearly and particularly a PDP figure. He was a cold-blooded PDP-partisan who saw Nigeria through the eyes of his party; he never saw PDP through the eyes of Nigeria.

A patriot loves, asserts and defends his or her country passionately; Anenih’s passion was the PDP, right or wrong. To pronounce him a patriot insults both the term and Nigeria.

Did Anenih advocate an overriding public vision of Nigeria; if so, when, and what was it? What was his passion concerning uplifting Nigeria? What moved him to tears and what did he do about it?

Whom did he offend publicly in affirming right over wrong, ours over mine, day over night? Did he champion the cause of clean drinking water for every Nigerian…free and fair elections, free education or healthcare? Did he advocate libraries in towns and villages or opportunities for the gifted?

Was his combat in connection with maternal and child deaths nationwide?

Through 16 years and three presidencies during which Anenih was one of the top figures, the PDP brand was of political brigandage, ethical arson and administrative incompetence. Murder, looting and injustice ran the day.

Where was Anenih? He is not on record anywhere as speaking up for Nigeria publicly, as patriots do; or as working courageously for the national cause, as patriots do.

In fact, in the one matter in which he was directly involved, he admitted receiving N126 billion—not N300 billion—in four years as Minister of Works, as though N126bn were akara change. He never identified one good road nationwide for which he was responsible.

That was at the federal level. Through the 16 PDP locust years, Anenih was also the Chris Uba—or the Jagaban, if you like—of Edo State politics.

That was why, after former Labour leader Adams Oshiomhole slipped past him through the judiciary into the Edo governorship in November 2007, he made it Job One to yank out the fangs of the Edo State godfather. And that is why Oshiomhole called the 2015 presidential election in the state “a referendum between the godfathers and the great people” of Edo, and celebrated mightily when PDP was worsted.

Oshiomhole recalled that when he assumed the governorship, “every councillor in Edo State, local government chairmen, House of Assembly members, the governor and of course you have the Presidency, (were) all PDP members. Now to imagine that from Ground Zero we came in to challenge this order and of course we must not forget that when they talk about god-fatherism in Nigeria politics, it is a small, powerful, unaccountable, un-elected group.”

“Mr. Fix-It” achieved that blanket control not by subscribing to any democratic principles, but by intimidation and blackmail. If he liked you or was doing you a favour, the job or elective office you desired was yours.

For elective offices, he didn’t campaign: he simply conveyed to the other candidate that the position was unavailable and that he ran at his peril.

That is the same language he employed when he declared in an open PDP meeting in July 2004 that there was no vacancy in Aso Rock and that President Obasanjo would determine his successor. Obasanjo did.Anenih enjoyed being “Mr. Fix It.” But ‘fixing’ and ‘fixers’ are crime—usually mafia—references to operatives who use extralegal means to control or even eliminate opponents of an opposing family or a boss, or who “clean up” after terrible crimes.

Of top Nigerians claiming Anenih was a patriot who “fixed” problems, the suggestion is that he untangled problems in the national interest, but none of them could name one such national issue or resolution, or how it made Nigeria better.

In other words, if indeed Anenih had any such gifts, it was to enhance the rampage of the PDP, which means he was a key contributor to the mess of 1999-2015.

Speaking of 2015, it also turned out that Anenih was a beneficiary of the infamous ONSA, with one of the counts against Col. Sambo Dasuki being that he transferred N260 million “…to the bank account of Tony Anenih with First Bank of Nigeria Plc…”

Speaking at a Benin City rally of the APC in December 2015, Oshiomhole scoffed: “Even at old age, (Anenih) collected N260 million.”

Anenih may have inspired the PDP as a criminal enterprise that broke all the rules of democracy, he didn’t illuminate or advance Nigeria. In Anenih’s PDP, Nigeria became the epicenter of human greed and official impunity and duplicity. In it, success was measured in what you could corner for yourself, no matter how many children were left starving to death.

That is why the country is littered with policy hoaxes and uncompleted projects and programmes, including a $16bn electricity scam. Think about it: last week, the Global Fund announced in Abuja a new grant of $660m to tackle HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria epidemic in Nigeria in the next three years.

The Global Fund had previously invested $2.6 billion dollars in the same projects, most of which disappeared into the quicksands of ramshackle governance in Abuja championed by the PDP; the new $660m is guaranteed to go the same way.

Somehow the All Propaganda Conglomerate took over and has compounded that template. But patriotism is not manufactured in graveside tributes, but by toil and tears expended in life.

As a human being, I condole the Anenih family. As a Nigerian, however, I regret I am unable to accept the fiction of his “patriotism.”

In the end, patriotism is sacrifice for a beloved nation. Perhaps, then, we should be grateful Anenih chose to die in Nigeria; our slave-masters normally prefer to die anywhere else.

(Reactions of 500 words or less, particularly from anyone who has specifics of Anenih’s “patriotism,” are welcome).

Credit: The Punch

News Headlines Nov 4, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Nov 4, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch
WAEC disagrees with Presidency, says Buhari applied for results
Contractor complained about Ganduje collecting 15 to 30% – Video publisher, Jafar
Woman kills husband, three kids, self over lingering feud
APC senators back Oshiomhole, state chairmen plot chair’s removal
Mr. ‘Fix-It’ Tony Anenih was no patriot
Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG backs NLC planned strike
Oshiomhole lacks respect for truth, decency, says Amosun
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People assume I’m dumb because I’m beautiful – Corazon Kwamboka
Primaries: APC Reps weigh options, suspend planned defections
World Bank: We made a mistake. Now what?
Contractor complained about Ganduje collecting 15 to 30% – Video publisher, Jafar
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I’ve treated him thrice through prayers — Mother of Rivers pastor who set self, house ablaze
Dad wants to be Nigeria’s president –Taiwo Afolabi’s son
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Past govts abandoned 800 containers of power equipment —Minister
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Two teenage armed robbers nabbed in Bayelsa
Village in the city tries to save Zimbabwe traditions
My Ogun gov ambition on course —Akinlade
Olujimi, Aluko seek dissolution of Fayose’s PDP exco
Vote buying is criminal, undermining democracy –EU envoy
Buhari’s re-election bid and the politics of 2023 Presidency
Zamfara: APC will challenge INEC ban in court, says Oshiomhole
Imo APC crisis: Substituting my name illegal, unconstitutional –Nwosu
Be prepared for bad days in business – Falana
If you listen to dissenting voices, you’ll be too old to start— Opeyemi Akinwoleola
Tips for effective bookkeeping
CBN disburses N38bn to power firms in six months
#StartupSouth: Looking beyond oil
Digital payments solutions key to healthy economy – Okusanya
Competence and character will determine my cabinet — Ezekwesili
Restructuring will address 90% of Nigeria’s problems — PANDEF leader
Vote buying is criminal, undermining democracy –EU envoy
President hasn’t violated constitution by saying credentials with army – Ajulo
Buhari shouldn’t seek re-election without presenting certificate – Adegboruwa
We want to end World Cup qualifiers unbeaten — Aminu
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Late Rashford goal hands United win over Bournemouth
Newcastle win first game
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Using power forward basketball to empower, change lives of Abuja kids
I’ve great body, I like flaunting it – Crystabel Goddy
I used to be a chronic stammerer— IK Ogbonna
Why people think I am gay –Benson Okonkwo
Wizkid, Tiwa Savage video gave me 14,000 more Instagram followers –Mr. Jollof
Some side effects of chemotherapy
The world of anxiety (2)
In medicine, a lump in the breast is guilty until proven otherwise — Adekigbe
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Nigeria’s Internet users hit 105 million in September
Editorial: Population explosion: Difficult choices lie ahead
Soldiers, Shi’ites face-off and minimum wage
Focus on the positives

The Nation
Ekiti: Fayose sacked as PDP leader
Why some Nigerians don’t want Buhari re-elected – Amaech
EVELYN AKHATOR, D’TIGRESS FORWARD: How we conquered Argentina in Spain
Oshiomhole, Amosun, Okorocha war of words escalates
Wife kills self, hubby, three kids in Makurdi
‘Illegal helicopter charter flights’ spark row in aviation sector
Oshiomhole apologises to Imo Catholic community over Okorocha
Why I left APC – Shehu Sani
2019: APC fortunes in Cross-River
Expounding the danger of Dankwambo, Nafada script in Gombe
Kwara 2019: Intrigues over APC’s search for Abdulrasaq’s running mate
It is illegal for states to determine minimum wage, says Falana
Stop politicizing Kalu’s health – APC warns opposition
FEYISEITAN ASAGIDIGBI: ‘Why I’m called African Neymar in Argentina’
LG Focuses on gaming at IFA with new Ultragear Monitors
EDMARK unveils first cashless night market, focuses on SMEs
Daikin launches Africa’s first inverter air conditioning system
Tax as tool for domestic resource mobilisation
MTV EMAs: Here’s why backstage is VIP deal
Man kills his mother, makes love to her corpse for money ritual
Six killed in ghastly Ebonyi road accident
Ezinne emerges Mrs. Nigeria beauty queen
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Hypnic hypertension
HMCAN urges NHIS boss to identify defaulting organs
Consumer Protection: Healthcare as a case study (4)
‘Help me get back my life’

The Sun

Primary polls: Amosun hits back at Oshiomhole
Ogun APC leadership attacks Amosun for annulling result of 26 Assembly candidates
Woman kills husband, three kids, self in Makurdi
Horror as boy, 21, kills mother, makes love to her corpse in Edo
2019: Concerns mount over arms proliferation
Why I joined the presidential race – Oby Ezekwesili
Nnewi thrown into mourning as Ojukwu’s son, Debe, dies in Lagos
There is no state in Nigeria without ongoing FG project- Osinbajo
Our elites must stop misleading our people, Buhari warns
NEMA distributes 5 truckloads of relief items to flood victims in Rivers
World Bank’s $611m to support Out-of-School children in Nigeria
Active women participation in politics key to sustainable development — Awosika
Atiku understand Nigeria better than Buhari – Okoko, ex-Ijaw leader
2019: Failed politicians behind coalition against Buhari – Ojukutu
Lagos Int’l Trade Fair: Foreign exhibitors explore Nigeria’s business potential
MGCs: CBN pegs N6bn as minimum capital at N6bn
Australia, South Africa clash for first time since tampering scandal
Think Nigeria first, Lulu-Abdullahi tells upcoming stars
Khachanov pummels Thiem to reach Paris Masters final
‘Defensively absolutely awful’ – Mourinho blasts Man Utd players for ‘disaster’ first half
Rashford rescues Manchester United again
Atletico Madrid blow chance to go top of La Liga
Leicester City FC owner’s Buddhist funeral begins in Thailand with royal honour
Mbappe, Neymar steer PSG to new win record
I can never be a baby mama – Nazareth Jesse, actress
Knocks, kudos as Toke Makinwa bares bikini body on birthday
It’s not easy being a pretty woman in Nigerian music industry – Kene Okafor
I can never be a baby mama – Nazareth Jesse, actress
Knocks, kudos as Toke Makinwa bares bikini body on birthday
It’s not easy being a pretty woman in Nigerian music industry – Kene Okafor
A loaded night of the Apostles in the Market Place
2019: Issues and words matter
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Why the ‘cot’ dismissed the malpractice charge against me
Are your hands stained with blood?
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U.S. carrier leads warships in biggest ever Japan defense war game
Senior Indonesian rescue diver dies in jet crash search
Wizkid, Tiwa Savage in love Fever
Suspension: I wasn’t given fair hearing –Omisore

Daily Trust

Cultural display as new Eze Igbo emerged in Kafanchan
Kidnappers: The rise of new criminal gangs in Zamfara
Kidnappers take over Port Harcourt/Owerri road
Harvest: Flood heightens tension in Rivers
Why Niger is leading in rice production
Over 6,000 rice farmers trained in Kano, Jigawa – Africa Rice
Katsina indigenous coy sets for commercial tomatoes processing
Expert warns against eating Aflatoxin-infected farm produce
Emir of Awe in Nasarawa state, Abubakar Umar II dies at 69
State Assembly: Oshiomhole yet to give candidates ‘form CF001’ – Amosun
Osinbajo, Justice Gummi disagree over change mantra
Arewa youths back Atiku on fuel price reduction
Arsenal, Liverpool share points after explosive encounter
Atletico Madrid blow chance to go top of La Liga
Ebonyi: Six student burnt to death, 9 injured in auto crash
Lembn Zaar : Dogara, others sue for peaceful coexistence
Prof Kolo IBB varsity former vice Chancellor dies at 62
Lalong awards scholarship to first class graduates from Plateau
Saraki lauds FG for adopting Kwara’s 10-year old education policy
Jason Derulo, David Guetta, Little Mix, others to perform at 2018 MTV EMAs
India begins use of inland waterways to decongest road, rail traffic
Osinbanjo laments dearth of advocacy lawyers in Nigeria


Boko Haram: FG, ECWA embark on joint effort to effect Leah release
Anti-corruption: APC governors mock Buhari behind his back —Shehu Sani
National Question and restructuring as unsettled matters
Drama, confusion as bride’s father cancels wedding on D-day
Obaseki fetes retired HoS, 36 Perm Secs, with N37m cash gift, others
National annual secondary school Geography competition holds in UI
Police nab two armed robbery suspects in Anambra
Stop indiscriminate citing of petrol and gas stations, Anambra govt to investors
I made political appointments fairly ― Buhari
BREAKING: Debe, Odumegwu-Ojukuwu’s first son, dies at 62
Tambuwal swears in 26 commissioners, allocates portfolios
Questions still remain about Buhari’s school certificate
National Question and restructuring as unsettled matters


Anxiety As Population Outstrips Economic Growth
Okorocha, Amosun Tackle Oshiomhole
Former Ibb Varsity Vc, Prof Kolo, Dies At 62
Over 30 Parties Meet INEC Deadline On Candidates’ List
My Political Opponents Are After Me – Ganduje
Rape Victim, Ochanya, Buried Amidst Tears
Army Varsity Depicts PMB’s High Premium On Education – VC
Wife Kills Self, Hubby, 3 Kids In Makurdi(
Wizkid Among Highest Paid Artistes Globally
I Love Classic Stuff – Shema
CBN Lists Firms Operating As Primary Mortgage Banks
Agoro’s Appeal For Govt Backing
Nigeria Drops On Ease Of Doing Business Ranking
UNILORIN: Discovery Of Tin Metal
How Governor Bello Revives Niger State’s Economy
Demutualisation Will Boost Capital Market – Garuba
Electricity: Kwara Community Groans Over Blackout
Kogi CJ Harps On Constant Training Of Judges
Insecurity: NAF Trains 538 Personnel
CBN Lists Firms Operating As Primary Mortgage Banks
Addressing Issues Of NEITI’s Audit, Unremitted Revenue
Ekiti PDP Stakeholders Sack Fayose As Leader
2019: INEC Tasks Politicians On Need To Hire Elites As Party Agents
Zamfara 2019: APC To Challenge INEC Ban In Court, Says Oshiomhole
Atletico Madrid Blow Chance To Go Top Of La Liga
l Madrid Interest Made Spurs Stronger – Pochettino
Wizkid Among Highest Paid Artistes Globally E
EDITORIAL: Tony Anenih, ‘Mr Fix It’, Takes A Bow
How Governor Bello Revives Niger State’s Economy
Port Harcourt: Boosting Airport With $600m
The Glorious Privilege Of Sanctified Believers In Christ


Taraba Dismisses Claim Of Illegal Security Training Camp
General Alkali: We Want All Mining Ponds In Berom Searched For Possibly More Victims — Plateau Residents
Obaseki Fetes Retired HoS, 36 Perm Secs, With N37m Cash Gift, Others
Child Rights Law: Edo Govt Commends FIDA For Input
Edo Poly Usen Organises Leadership Training For New SUG
How Tecno Mobile Emerged As The Most Popular Smartphone Brand Of The Year
Nigeria Can Stop Importing Petrol By 2021 — Asemota
Our Son Was Praying At The Shrine When He Was Shot Dead – Aladja Family
I Thought People Wanted To Dupe Me When They Asked Me To Vie For Office Of Governor – Ex-Gov Idris Of Kogi
Luxury Experience Awaits Lagos As Twinwaters Unveils Ultra-Modern Entertainment Center
Ondo Central Election, A Contest Of Records And Achievements
My People Say APC Is Miyetti Allah Party– Apedzan, Benue Women Leader
Newcastle Win First EPL Match Of The Season
Fortune Club Will Sustain Scholarship Scheme — Inuekin
Accountability In Health Sector: DRPC Organizes Retreat For Kano OGP
How Ojukwu’s First Son Died In Lagos
Ramos Scores As Madrid Beat Valladolid
Amosun, Okorocha, Oshiomhole and the APC firestorm
Imo APC battle: Even Oshiomole can’t stop my mandate – Nwosu
This time it is: Anyone but Buhari … – Oby Ezekwesili
I gave 4 important ministries to area I didn’t record much votes—Buhari
Leicester City FC owner’s Buddhist funeral begins in Thailand with royal honour
Crisis? What crisis? Real Madrid will be fine, Beckham assures
Defying time and space with love
‘There’s no need to brag about your prowess!’
Much ado about American super model, Blac Chyna’s planned visit to Abuja
`Women Support Women’ initiative by Adara Foundation, Tiffany Amber launched in Lagos
Yoruba actress, Ronke Odusanya, gives lesson on self-esteem
Don’t become my enemy – Omotola warns erring fans
Worst scripts tend to pay more – Ini Edo