As exclusively reported by LEADERSHIP on Sunday, Chief Tony Anenih in the early hours of today was unanimously elected Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a meeting of the party held at the Banquet hall of the presidential villa, Abuja.
His emergence as the PDP BoT chairman at the meeting which started at about 8.45pm and ended around 12.40am today morning confirms the report by this paper on Sunday that the second coming of Anenih, who is currently the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) had received the blessings of most of the top members of the board who were earlier opposed to his choice.
Anenih emerged unopposed as a consensus candidate in accordance with the Prof Jerry Gana led committee report on streamlining the membership of the BOT. The meeting, held at the Banquet Hall of the State House, commenced at 8.45 and ended in the early hours of Tuesday.
Speaking to State House Correspondents, Anenih announced vehemently that the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) will collapse instead of constituting any threat to the PDP, adding that he was optimistic that the people behind the party will remain in the same position.
He contended that the same factors that had confined them to the opposition are still there and so PDP has nothing to worry about.
He said, “If you are building a house and you discover that some parts of the house are not standing well because the blocks are weak, you now go back to the same source to buy more blocks, the house will continue to be weak”.
“The BoT is the conscience of the party, the body of elders, men with integrity, experience and honour. I will need a lot of support from the media and all stakeholders as we progress.”
Asked to explain what he intends to do differently on his second coming as BoT chairman, Anenih said people learn more everyday. “I have grown further than the previous term I did as chairman. I have more friends and contacts now, I have more to contribute. The PDP is improving”, he stated.
On the crisis in the party and how the BoT intends to intervene, Anenih said: “The party is big enough, and so their will be frictions. We are here to address all the issues and intervene as much as we can, while ensuring discipline within the party discipline. The restructuring of d BoT will bring forth better days for the party.
Also speaking, the Board’s Secretary, Senator Wali Jibril formally announced him said, “BOT met today and apprroved the report of Prof Jerry Gana on streamliningg the membership of the BOT. Our new chairman of the BOT by the grace of God is Chief Tony Anenih”.
Considered as the best choice for the job at a time the party was replete with internal wrangling due to his ‘Mr. Fix It’ fame, Anenih’s leadership will be faced with the task of addressing the rift in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum which led to the formation of the PDP Governors’ Forum, with Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio elected unanimously last on Monday as chairman of the new forum.
Although said to not be in good terms with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, this paper had also reported that Anenih’s led new leadership of the BoT would have to address the various contending forces within the party like some perceived loyalists of former president Olusegun Obasanjo who were sacked from the National Working Committee of the party last week.
The PDP BoT had remained without an elected chairman after former President, Chief Oulesegun Obasanjo voluntarily resigned last years on grounds of time to enable him engage in some other global activities.
Two attempts to produce the BoT chairman had failed. The party had risen from a similar meeting last in December last year only to announce that the meeting was postponed to January 8, this year. At the end of the meeting last month, the party had announced that it set up a committee to work on modalities that would help it produce leadership for its BoT.
PDP Congratulates Anenih
Meanwhile, minutes after the meeting, In a swift reaction to his emergence, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today morning said the unanimous election of Chief Tony Anenih as chairman of the BoT was a bold step towards ensuring peace and stability.
PDP in a congratulatory message signed by the National Publicity Secretary Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP expressed confidence that Chief Anenih’s antecedents as a mobilizer and consensus builder over the years will contribute to the long term stability of the Party.
Metuh stated: “Chief Anenih’s tireless participation and critical role in the formation of the PDP places him in good stead to provide wise counsel and direct the influential Board of Trustees to follow the noble ideals of the founders of the Party. His wealth of experience and acclaimed reputation as a democrat and consensus builder are assets that the Party needs at this critical point in our democratic evolution”.
Metuh pointed out that Chief Anenih’s unanimous election by all members of the Board of Trustees has disapointed opposition elements and doomsday prophets who expected the process to result in rancor and acrimony saying “this is yet another signal that the PDP is ever united and ready to overcome all perceived obstacles in our drive to provide focused leadership and service to the people of Nigeria”.
Accordingly, he called on all Party members across board to give maximum cooperation to the new chairman of the BOT who has himself pledged to broaden the spread of the umbrella to accommodate all tendencies.
Present at the meeting were Present were President Goodluck Jonathan; vice president Namadi Sambo; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Senate President, David Mark; Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; Kano Governor, Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso; Prof Jubril Aminu; Mrs Josephine Anenih; Dr. Bode Olajumoke; Don Etiebet; Prof Jerry Gana; Chief Banabas Gemade; the party women leaders, Dr. Kema Chikwe; Dr. Hassan Adamu; Dr. Dalhatu Tafida;
Prince Vincent Ogbulafor; Alabo Graham Douglas; Chief Alex Ekwueme; Chief Jim Nwobodo and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja.
Others are former Senate President, Chief Adophols Wabara; Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State; Alhaji Bunu Sherif; Chief Olabode George; AlHaji Abdullahi Adamu; Dr. Mohammed Bello Haliru
Dr Ahmadu Ali; Maj Gen David Jemibewon; Shuaibu Oyedokun; Okwesiliese Nwodo; Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu; Ken Nnamani; Adamu Muazu
And Danjuma Goje.