In an article I wrote way back in 2007 captioned: “The Anini In Anenih” I had compared the former PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Anthony Anenih, to one hell of a gangster named ‘The Law’ and concluded unapologetically that Anenih could well be likened to an Anini in Nigerian politics. Remember one popular late armed robber called Lawrence Anini alias ‘the law’? Let me refresh your memory!
During the Babangida kleptocratic regime in the early 90’s the late Anini, an illiterate from then Bendel State, was terrorising the notorious state staging dare-devil robbery operations, sending letters in advance to his targets and sharing his loot with market-women and commoners on the street of Benin City! He was a charity-spurred bandit with huge heart for the poor but that could never have excused his bloody raids on banks and general state of fear he instilled in millions of Nigerians.
A new urbaine well-educated armed robbers have since ‘immortalised’ Anini visiting banks with gas cylinders, sophisticated guns and IEDs, sometimes executing their operations in broad daylight, exposing a nation that cared less about the high unemployment statistics and ubiquitous poverty emasculating the lives of the new-generation Nigerians. Again the audacity of the men of the underworld ought to deliver a chilling mesage to President Goodluck Jonathan about the urgent need to de-centralise the police force and ultimately ‘decree’ the state police into being in a complex insecure Nigeria of the 21st century!
While Anini was later caught and tried and executed (including his hitman Monday Osunbor and his police accomplice George Iyamu) Anenih is still at large planning evil, causing confusion in the land and manipulating everything to suit his whims and caprices. Today, I think Anenih has grown further ‘wings’ ever since President Goodluck Jonathan ‘invited’ him over once again to his government to help him plot his election of last year. His wife, Josephine, is in government and he is almost above the law intimidating the intimidatable unlike Comrade Adams who cannot be intimidated.
When Prof. Wole Soyinka described the (mis)ruling party, the PDP, as “a nest of killers” Chief Anthony Anenih ranked highest (in our reckoning) in the composition of these executive killers including former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senator Iyiola Omisore. Today, the Abuja gang has expanded incorporating into their fold more ‘bandits’ in flowing ‘Agbadas’ — governors, ministers, senators, house members, special aides, special assistants etc. Today, PDP has evolved achieving only terrorism as stewardship instead of tackling the mounting challenges confronting the nation.
We remember how great men were murdered with no justice rendered. The list is endless in a Nigeria where lawlessness is the order of the day! The souls of the late assassinated former Justice Minister Bola Ige, Harry Marshall, Funsho Williams, journalist Godwin Agbroko among others will never rest in peace as long as justice is not done. Today armed robbers are having a field day out-gunning the ill-equipped and ill-prepared police force while Boko Haram continue its campaign of blood and bombs in the north!
All ingredients of a failed state has manifested themselves as we struggle to maintain a ‘unity’ imposed on us by the colonial lords in 1914. Revolution is looming fast unless the PDP and its godfathers change their strategy and ways.
Just last weekend I was shocked to read online the gruesome murder of the Principal Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, who was assassinated at his home in the early hours of Friday, May 4, in Benin City. Coming just days after the Comrade himself narrowly escaped assassination on his way back to the city along Warrake-Auchi Road after welcoming the defecting PDP members in the hinterland I concluded that something was amiss. According to reports the trailer driver that was ‘contracted’ to kill Oshiomhole fled the scene as soon as his ‘job’ was done leaving behind his accomplice who may not have been informed beforehand of the dastardly plot.
While the performing Governor had hit the nail in the head by declaring that certain people (mortally afraid of his pedigree and score-card; afraid of looming loss in a free and fair guber contest) in the opposing party wanted him dead it remains to be seen whether Edo State like the defunct Bendel State will resist the mounting temptation to embrace the implosion witnessed during the Ogbemudia/Ambrose Alli mortal electoral combat of the 80’s.
According to the dimunitive ebullient Governor “a certain old man, in his 80s, a godfather, in Edo state is the mastermind of the assassination of Olaitan Oyerinde”. By this simple statement of indictment Oshiomhole made it clear where his sights were set as he was confronted by another tragedy in his political family after losing three journalists in his convoy that was involved in an “accident” recently!
But one is encouraged by the ex-labour union leader’s boldness and intrepidity. He has summarily declared ‘war’ on his opponents delivering a 2-week ultimatum to the ineffective security agents to do justice to the twin-tragedy or face mass revolt! He has our support in this subdued state of melancholy in which his state and he himself find themselves.
Chief Anthony Anini, sorry Anenih, is to Nigerian politics what Boko Haram is to terrorism in Nigeria. Between the two, one wielding huge influence and ‘fixing’ whatever evil (including assassination of political opponents) the PDP demands of him and the other wielding bombs and guns for terrorism sake, Nigeria is fast going down into the abyss. While stopping Boko Haram will take superior arms and ammunitions in an all-out war stopping Chief Anenih is somewhat simple: expose his track record of disservice to Nigeria and catalogue his high-wire corruption as former Minister of Transport.
Besides, it takes an Adams Oshiomhole to stop him in his tracks using solid achievements and superior argument since we know that President Jonathan cannot stop him because of the ‘contract’ he signed with him. Anenih once said that there was no pot big enough to ‘contain’ him when rumours were circulating of the OBJ plan to have him in ‘soup’! A master strategist and unpatriotic Nigerian in all imaginable indication, Anenih must be stopped for peace to reign in Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
Finally, death can stop Chief Anenih! An octogenarian in his 80’s Anenih is inches away to the grave (even if longevity runs in his family blood!) and the sooner God or devil calls him home the better for our democratic experiment! Chief Anenih can ‘fix’ almost everything in a land bleeding to death from the effects of leadership failure at the apex, terrorism and mindless looting of public fiscal resources but he cannot fix his demise or negotiate an exit from the inevitable mortality.
Like the late Lamidi Adedibu, the demon of Molete, who used ‘amala’ and ‘gbegiri soup’ politics to dominate the then primitive politics of Oyo state until he kicked the bucket few years ago Chief Anenih, the dreaded ‘godfather’ wants power in his state of Edo where he hopes to continue providing the ‘godfatherly’ services to the PDP candidate for a fee. With irresponsible bloody old men like Anenih calling the shots any wonder why Nigeria is degenerating fast?
The Almighty God is watching from above and His incorruptible judgement will soon hit home! May the soul of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde repose ‘en paix’. My heart-felt condolences go to his family and loved ones.