By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, says the death of Chief Tony Anenih, has left a vacuum in the political landscape.
Abubakar said this in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Mr Paul Ibe, on Monday in Abuja.
He noted that role of the deceased had played in ensuring stability not only in the PDP but also in the country at large, stood him out as a patriot who dedicated his life to the service of humanity.
Abubakar said that the late Anenih did his best for the country, adding that his death at a time the nation was going into electioneering campaigns was saddening.
“Indeed, I have lost a great friend of decades.
“I am particularly pained that Chief Anenih left the stage at a time the party and the nation need his wealth of experience the more, especially in our collective quest to restore good governance and democratic ideals in our country.”
Abubakar, who described Anenih as a great political colossus and patriot, said his ability to consistently, at every turn, resolve knotty political puzzles, earned him the sobriquet of ‘Mr. Fix It’.
He commiserated with the family of the deceased, the government and people of Edo State and urged them to take solace in the fact that the elder statesman left his indelible footprints on the annals of the nation’s democratic history.
On his part, former Senate President David Mark said that Anenih lived an eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation.
Mark, in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Paul Mumeh, on Monday in Abuja, said that Anenih’s death was a huge loss to the nation and devastating to the political class.
He noted that the politicians had benefited from his reservoir of experience to navigate through the murky waters.
He recalled Anenih’s exploits and contributions to the political evolution of Nigeria since the Second Republic, describing the late politician as a political icon who added value to the polity.
“Chief Anenih stamped his authority in the political arena and left his positive footprint on the sand of time.
“In the Second Republic, as the then Chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in Bendel State, he led the party to victory.
“During the ill-fated Third Republic, he was the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that led the party to success in an election variously described as the freest, fairest and most credible election in the history of Nigeria.
“On the return of democracy in 1998/99, Anenih played the leading role in the evolution of PDP and earned the sobriquet of Mr. Fix it’ and Leader.
“No doubt, Anenih has left a huge vacuum that would be difficult to fill at least within the political class.”
Mark said that Nigeria would miss Anenih’s wise counsel and contributions to the political development of the country.