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‘The Iroko Has Fallen’-Chief Tony Anenih’s Ode by Chief Mike Ozekhome

Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome has paid glowing tribute to former minister of works and elder statesman, late Chief Tony Anenih

In a statement, Ozekhome said, “Are there still two Romans living such as these?…The last of all the Romans, fare thee well”-William Shakespeare (1564-1616) in Julius Caesar.

“There is no better way of describing this iroko of a Nigerian of Edoid origin; this iconic prodigy of a politician par excellence and this pan-Nigerian Nationalist of a colossus, than to use the above words.

“He was an unforgettable politician who brought colour, candour, effervescence and glamour to bear on politics and politicking.

“He was brutally frank, honest and sincere to a fault. He wore humility like a second skin. Easily accessible and gregarious, yet oxymoronically shy and taciturn.

“Chief Tony Anenih will be missed in the political space of Nigeria as a resonating voice in an oasis of fear and silence.

“To say that this patriarch of many mentees stamped his political feet on the sands of time is a gross understatement.

“Popularly called “Mr. Fix It” for his uncommon political navigational skills and dexterity wading into and solving complex governance, political logjams and puzzles, the Iyasele of Esanland was an embodiment of what principled politician should be.

“He saw politics from the nationalistic prism of uniting Nigeria and giving her peace, unity, stability, cohesion, justice, equity and egalitarianism.

“He never discriminated against anyone one on the basis of his gender, religion, tribe or station in life. Chief Anenih came. He saw. And he conquered. Vini Vidi Vici.

“Let us not mourn, but celebrate this African octopoidal octogenarian. God, grant his soul eternal repose. God, grant his entire family the strength to bear this irreparable loss. Amen.”

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