Tony Anenih: An Analysis

by Sylvester Fadal

His uncanny approach to voicing his mind and the truth brings joy to many who write about him because he creates waves for the press world, often speaking the unspeakable. There has been extensive giggle-ness among most when Anenih speaks because of his style of being a straight talker/shooter. His blunt honesty is something that is not currently being appreciated regardless of its value. We chatter of his willingness to say the things most politicians don’t possess the wherewithal to say though most are thinking it, wishing it and wanting to do it. He is the best open communication asset of this political era, followed closely by Orji Kalu. I think it is time we recognize that we are dealing with a man of immerse intelligence and a gifted ability to gain trust regardless of his actions. If not, why else would Anenih continue to be OBJ’s right hand man? Not very many people possess this skill. The notable view that comes to mind is Bill Clinton, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, etc among others. A few might go insane that I am equating Anenih to the above names but reality is, these folks have an ability to connect with people and Anenih does same with great ease.

Powerful and influential men are people who can build a team of followers regardless of how the world views their actions and/or beliefs. They are skilled at gaining commitment and recognize the essence of loyalty. Anenih has loyalty as indicated by his undying support of OBJ and the way he treats his allies. He is gifted at the game and his background and developmental process shows that he has always been this way dating back his time as the Divisional Police Officer at a police station in Ubiaja, Edo State, in the early sixties. A little research on him will shed the light on this mysterious man of great political intellect. I sing no praise song for Anenih if this article seems that way as I could care less. My call is for Nigerians who truly want to seek higher political positions to recognize the influence of this “nobleman” in the architectural structure of the Nigerian political setting. He is an influential figure that must not be negated by those in desperate drive to position themselves for key positions in the future. Knowing and recognizing Anenih’s influence is perhaps a discovery in-and-out of itself. He is a one-man political juggernaut who finds a way to survive carping critical opponents. He is everywhere at anytime and possess so much influence and power that PDP governors regardless of what we are made to believe, fear and hate him with a passion.

Piecing the puzzle of several articles and publications together shows that the bulk of the PDP decision-making sometimes stops at his desk. He is a growth tool, a motivational tool and a quick fix intervention machine. Borrowing from the lines of Mbadiwe, this is a man you call a political caterpillar. He is a smooth operator and a night machine that sometimes starts his meeting at 12:01 AM in the morning and before dawn; new laws, operational strategies and national decisions are influenced. He is recognized as one of the most powerful king makers and his support/non-support thereof, could determine ones political future within the PDP.

Who is this man named ANENIH? My research during my most recent visit to Nigeria laid out a few palpable findings. His followers revere him as a man of integrity and a strong passionate individual with a sense of responsibility, respect for others and a mammoth fervor for power and control, augmented with his ability to liberate others from their fears. He possesses no fear recognizing that fear is the generator of weakness. The interesting caveat to the whole information on this “nobleman” as he is fondly called, by most who know him well, is that his determination to be influential within the PDP is unparallel and his ability to recognize minor lapses in loyalty and integrity is phenomenal. Everyone that has battled Anenih has somehow walked away a loser. There is an old saying that when two elephants fights, the grass suffers. When Tony Anenih and Orji Kalu fought, we now know that Dr. Chima Nwafor is the one that may suffer for speaking up and pitching these two powerhouses against each other. Those who tested the waters around Anenih eventually recognize his symbiotic ability that they often give up, and sadly kiss up to him. He is not a compromiser but a winner at all cost.

Anenih is what you call a smooth operator with the ability to delineate good plans and strategies from poor ones. He knows how to generate the support and resources to get to his desired destination as noted by his title as the acting chairman, PDP Board of Trustees. This typically passive role has become very active and extremely powerful since he took it over. He indirectly holds the royal aces and sometimes works smarter than others who rely on hard work. He knows how to get on the right tracks for his, and his followers’ benefit. He finds elation from knowing that he has beaten his opponents at their games. He uses the press wisely and crushes most uprising permanently, in quiet, non-fanfare ways and remains in the limelight when others wish he were gone. Effort to question his performance during his tenure as the Minister of Works in the first regime has been met with concise, specific non-verbal or para-verbal responses. He seems to know the paradoxes that make political figures powerful and uses them to his advantage. He is loyal to his friends and receptive to his enemies. He has the agility of a leader and in his own ways, sometimes dictates the direction of political discussions in the country. Perhaps, it is time we sit back and get to know this man who unlike others, speaks volume about the thought process of key PDP members. His recent comment that OBJ will invariably decide who the next president will be, should not be taken with a grain of salt but a magnitude of seriousness.

Anenih brings a new dimension to politics by reframing how the game is played. Politics as seen around the world is sometimes not an honorable man’s game. It is a dirty game and as echoed over the last few months by notables Nigerians, it is not for the faint of heart. The chasm that Anenih brings to the political table in Nigeria is what should be most scary to those who seek to ascend to the top political position in the country. It is sad for any political system when one man holds this much power. It could derail the logical flow of the political process. Though Nigeria may be seen as an unusual system, it is still important to moderate the power vested in one individual, as there is a significant correlation between power, control and in the case of Nigeria, resources management.

You may also like


Odianosen March 31, 2011 - 2:04 pm

The gigantic tree that bear rich fruit is naturally the object of missile attack by hungry children.

Godilo July 10, 2010 - 1:12 pm

The man is a survival. I respect him because he don’t say something just to speak. When he does speaks he means it. The Man brain works well for sure

ralph February 2, 2010 - 11:58 pm

Tony Anenih is a man of integrity? I don’t buy that. That is a hardworker, yes. He is proactive, yes. That he love the poor, no I don’t think so. That he is a democrat, no he is not. That he believe in rigging election, yes.

cypenny January 8, 2010 - 10:19 am

anenih is proactive,dat makes him different from others.

Tony Iyere November 21, 2009 - 7:38 pm

I respect Chief Tony Anenih, for his ability to survive all political upheavals and still survive till date. But I disagree with trying to equate him to god. It is time he retires from partisan politics and sit back as an unbiased adviser.

Ekuaze Felix Agbota November 4, 2009 - 8:40 am

Chief Tony Anenih, is not the only corrupt politician in Nigeria, that if he is truly corrupt, which I doubt. Ride on Anenih, you cannot satisfy everybody at the same time. A perfect and nice gentleman like you cannot be destroy by tongues-makers

joy iwaka June 29, 2009 - 1:37 pm

Excellent article, apt analysis. Wish people could take time to find out about the true personality of thier leaders before they start running them down. I believe politicians and Nigerians alike have a lot to learn from this noble man. He is a true leader indeed. He has earned it.

Don January 8, 2008 - 10:34 am

Yes those of you who knows what cheif tony anenih is capable of like sylvester and ikpasaja should be making such comments very often because thats the truth. Tony anenih is not a bad man but been a leader some discitions will be hard to make and he has made so many people live better and then they come back to condem him. so for that reason he is not a bad man. Tony Anenih will let any person in a political position do their job but will try to advice if they listen good if they dont he lays back. for example lucky igbinadion former edo state governor a sgameful man.

tony ikpasaja July 24, 2006 - 1:07 pm

Chief Tony Anenih ia a man of immense value to mankind. The problem we have with his image in Nigeria is that those who often benefit from him go round to condemn him apparently to hoard this value. They will sometimes tell you he is wicked, he is in a bad mood, he is cultic, whereas this great man of Nigeria is a saint, an angel treading where no man could, all in a bid to help the helpless. He is trully blunt, loyal and faithful to his course. And that is what most politicians abhor. No Nigerian politicians like to say the truth but only Chief Anenih does.


Anonymous January 28, 2006 - 11:08 pm

I think either the author is the best paid praise singer in the anenih camp or he is plainly dumb and daft priase a man whose name is only almost linked with murder,curruption and abuse of power. A man linked to the death of bola ige? An attempted murder of orji uzor kalu,etc . Please next time you chose to write such offensive trash it should be a one letter addressed to aneni and boldly stated "for your eye only". Enzo-lawrence abiogbe

Doubra April 8, 2005 - 8:10 pm

I agree. Your write-up is a very good analysis of Chief Tony Anenih. It is sad for any political system when one man holds this much power.Though Im not a fan of his but his ability to backup his political words with action have been very impressive. Like you said, I think it is time we recognize that we are dealing with a man of immerse intelligence and an influential figure that must not be negated by those in desperate drive to position themselves for key positions in the future.


Leave a Comment