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Atiku: Anenih has no Need to Apologise

By Jude Ndukwe
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Following some details in Chief Tony Anenih’s book titled ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’ that was recently presented to the public, in which the author explained how he stopped Atiku Abubakar’s ambition to succeed his then boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as president during the build-up to the 2003 presidential election, Timi Frank, a National Working Committee member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is demanding that Anenih apologise to Atiku for what he termed the former PDP BOT chairman’s “loss of moral right to talk about former vice president Atiku Abubakar” claiming that he should also apologise to his own political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for whatever Frank invented in his own imagination.

The fact is that Atiku’s over-ambition to succeed Chief Obasanjo at the time was well known and documented. Frank’s admission that more than 22 PDP governors were backing Atiku on his ambition to succeed Obasanjo then further confirms Chief Anenih’s assertion on the subject.

But for Atiku’s over-ambition, what any politically savvy person would have done would be to wait until his boss served two terms having showed interest in running for the presidency a second time. But such virtue of patience took flight from Atiku as he started plotting how to succeed his boss albeit prematurely.

The needless tension and fractious relationship that characterized the Obasanjo/Atiku presidency at some point is a copious and cogent testimony to Chief Anenih’s position. This slowed down economic projections and developmental plans at the time.

To say that Anenih is not called Mr Fixer for nothing is actually true. The experienced politician is known to fix issues not only in his party but even at the highest levels just as he “fixed” Atiku and his ambition in the Obasanjo era.

He also brought this enviable and fatherly figure to bear on the PDP campaign organization during the 2015 general elections where he intervened on several occasions on points of disagreements between different arms of the campaign organization and other stakeholders that worked for the party at the time. As former president Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on the Campaigns, he ensured that inter-directorate frictions were not only promptly settled but also mostly nipped in the bud, thereby effectively ‘fixing’ whatever was there to be fixed.

Little wonder former president Goodluck Jonathan implored Chief Tony Anenih not to quit active partisan politics, saying, “We agree that you will not attend meetings at 2am, 3am, but, in the areas of security and politics, we will consult you”. Coming from a man who surely knows far better than Frank, it confirms that the former minister of works and housing rather than apologise to PDP or any other entity is rather receiving worthy commendations from high places.

Rather than dissipate energy on trying to needlessly fault the facts from Chief Tony Anenih’s book, people like Timi Frank should actually wait for another century or more for their principals to reach the heights a gargantuan figure like Tony Anenih has since surpassed.

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