Despite withdrawal from active politics, I will show interest in national issues – Anenih


Tony Anenih

Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, said on Monday that he would show more than a passing interest in issues affecting the nation even though he had, last year, announced his withdrawal from active partisan politics.

Anenih spoke when he received in audience in his Abuja residence the Professor Jerry Gana-led Strategy Review and Inter-Party Affairs Committee.  The committee’s mission was to present to him a copy of its report.

He said the PDP and its leaders should not be embarrassed if they see him embark on visits to either President Muhammadu Buhari or Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in order to meet minds on issues of national interest.

The former BoT chairman restated his position, which he made last year at the public presentation of his book, that he would no longer be available for night political meetings but would not be hesitant to offer advice to the PDP if the party leaders decide to tap from his wealth of experience.

He, however had harsh words for the party leaders whom he accused of promoting their selfish interests, saying “PDP is where it is today because of selfishness on the part of its leaders, a vast majority of whom want to be either presidential candidate or national chairman of the party.”

Anenih also slammed those who benefitted so much from the party and later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying that was not the best was to reward a party that offered them its platform to actualize their aspirations.

“I believe in consistency.  I joined party politics in 1978 and since then, I have never left any party that I joined for another. It is very shameful that people would do that, particularly those who had benefitted so much from the PDP,” he said.

He, however, wished the party well in its current effort to reorganize itself, saying “PDP has a chance to bounce back.”

He said he was happy that the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan whom he advised a long time ago to help strengthen the party but was reluctant to do so, has now expressed readiness to take up the challenge.

He advised party leaders to support Jonathan in the task of reorganizing and strengthening the party.

Anenih also underscored the necessity for state governors on the platform of the party to support the party with funding, no matter how minimal.

He tasked the party and its leaders to work harmoniously towards organizing a credible national convention, pointing out that “I want the PDP to be strong and united.”

Stressing the importance of peace and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, Anenih urged all well-meaning Nigerians, regardless of party affiliations, to pray for the good health of President Buhari so that he can quickly return to drive the process of taking the nation out economic recession.

Earlier, Professor Gana said that the committee report would help to “effectively revive, re-energise and remobilize the party.”

The committee comprises former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, Senator Ibrahim Idah, Professor Rufai Alkali, Dr Bawa Kasali, Senator Stella Omu, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, former Imo State governor, Chief Achike Udenwa, Engineer Jide Adeniyi, Hon. Shehu Gabam, Hon Auwal Tukur and Hon. Margareth Itcheen.

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