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THE LEGACIES OF CHIEF DR TONY ANENIH CFR Edo State, Nigeria and humanity at large will continue to miss Chief Dr Tony Anenih CFR,

The Prime Minister of Esan Land who went to the world beyond on 28th October 2018.

Anthony Akhakon “Tony” Anenih was a Nigerian politician who was appointed Minister of Works and Housing in 1999


Anenih was born in Uzenema-Arue in Uromi. In 1933, he joined the Nigeria Police Force in Benin City. Working at home, he obtained secondary school qualifications. He attended the police college in Ikeja, and was selected for further training in the Bramshill Police CollegeBasingstokeEngland in 1966 and the International Police AcademyWashington DC in 1970. He served as a police orderly to the first Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. He worked as an instructor in various police colleges, and in 1975 was assigned to the Administrative Staff College (ASCON), Lagos. He retired from the police as a Commissioner of police.[1]

Early political career[edit]

Anenih was State Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between 1981 and 1983, helping Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia become elected as civilian Governor of Bendel State. However, the governorship was cut short by the military takeover of December 1983. He was National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 1992 to 1993, when he assisted in the election of Chief M. K. O. Abiola as president. He was a member of the Constitutional Conference in 1994.[1]

Anenih was a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Anenih was said to have masterminded the 26 April 2002 declaration of President Obasanjo at the International Conference center Abuja.[2] He was deputy national coordinator of Olusegun Obasanjo‘s campaign Organisation in the 1999 and 2003 elections.[1]

Minister of Works and Housing[edit]

Chief Anenih was appointed Minister of Works and Housing in 1999. He subsequently became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP.[1]


In October 2009, a senate committee issued a report on their investigation into the use of more than N300 billion in the transport sector during the Obasanjo administration. The committee recommended prosecution of thirteen former Ministers, including Anenih, saying he had awarded contracts without budgetary provision.[3] In November 2009, the Senate indefinitely shelved consideration of the report.[4]

In October 2009, the Central Bank of Nigeria released a list of customers with major debt to five recently audited banks. It reported that, through Mettle Energy and Gas limited, Chief Tony Anenih and Osahon Asemota owed N2,065 million.[5] Anenih said he had nothing to do with Mettle Energy and Gas Limited, and said he had written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Farida Waziri, urging the commission to investigate the matter.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Josephine Anenih, a lawyer, who was the chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers from 1994 to 2000. She was appointed minister of Women Affairs on 6 April 2010, when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced his new cabinet.[7]


Anenih died on 28 October 2018, and was buried in his hometown in Uromi, his burial was attended by many influential people in the country. Until his death, he was the Iyasele of Esan Land 

Produced several presidents of nations, governors of States, federal ministers, senators, lawmakers, local government chairmen and political appointees

* Constructed hundreds of roads, bridges and flyovers across the nation during his tenure as Works and Housing Minister

* Brokered amnesty deal for Niger-Delta militants

* Donated 10 billion naira endowment fund to the University of Ibadan Giatric Centre

* Donated his multi-billion naira hotel to National Institute of Construction Technology (NICT) Uromi

* Influenced the federal government to commence Northern Esan Water Project

* Influenced the establishment of a federal polytechnic ( NICT) in his hometown, Uromi

* Facilited the establishment of National Open University Uromi Study Centre

* Donated a large parcel of land to Lumen Christi High School Uromi

* Single-handedly rebuilt the diocesan cathedral of St Anthony Catholic Church Uromj

* Constructed the longest road in Esan Land from Illushi to Ekpoma Junction

* Constructed four flyovers/ by-pass around Benin city to ease the flow of vehicular traffic from East, West, North and South.*

Facilitated the establishment of Edo State Cassivita Factory Uromi

* Facilitated the creation of Esan North-East local government area

* Facilitated the creation of two state house of assembly constituencies for Esan North-East Local Government Area.

* Rendered financial assistance to thousands of people

* Paid school fees and medical bills for many people too numerous to count.

* Provided employment to tens of thousands of people in the civil service and armed forces including immigration and fire serve

* Mentored thousands of politicians many of whom are governors, senators, ministers etc todayThe list is endless. He was a true legend! Rest on aba!

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