By Tony Onyima, Ph.D
Grumbletonians is an old-fashioned and 17th Century English word used in describing a “people who are angry or unhappy with their government”. There’s no doubt that the word describes the state of minds of some Nigerians who are exasperated with governance in the nation. With the impending general elections scheduled for February 2023, many more Nigerians seem to have resolved to stop agonizing and start organizing to enthrone good governance.
A number of people have also thrown their hats into the political arena. The presidential aspirants so far offer a mixed grill of regular and some fresh faces. They include Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Professor Yemi Osibajo, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, Gov. Yahaya Bello, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Mr. Peter Obi, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, and Chief Dele Momodu. Some of these aspirants are yet to openly declare their interest. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, is among the few whose aspirations offer some freshness for a number of reasons. So far he has demonstrated an uncanny courage of conviction which clearly positions him as a statesman. There’s an increasing consensus that the nation’s next president should come from the South and for equity and fairness South East should be given an opportunity to make a difference.
Anyim has so far demonstrated maturity, statesmanship and tenacity of purpose with his unique approach of consulting with Nigerians of different strata. His consultations have also shown that Nigerian politics could be played with honor and respect for the people. His messaging which he delivers with captivating eloquence and articulation shows that he is a better prepared person for the job. The optics and feedback from the nation-wide consultations are encouraging. From the pack of aspirants, Anyim, in my view, is a man of the moment.
Anyim’s current political adroitness is not a flash in the pan. In and out of office, he has remained unaffected by the office. His disarming humility is often mistaken for lack of warmth. His life’s trajectory and spirituality have so much affected his politics. Each time he speaks on issues, he speaks with courage and unwavering conviction. At a time of national uncertainty, it was he in January 2010 who led a delegation of 41 notable Nigerians to call on the then President Umaru Yar’Adua to immediately transmit a letter of his incapacitation to the National Assembly. Again, he demonstrated this rare trait when he was elected President of the Senate in August 2000 after Dr. Chuba Okadigbo and Chief Evan(s) Enwerem were impeached. He courageously and creditably held the office until May 2003. A man of deep faith, Anyim is broad-minded. His relationships cut across provincial boundaries.
Born on February 19, 1961 in Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, Anyim attended Ishiagu High School, Federal School of Arts and Science, Aba and Imo State University, Uturu. In 1998, he contested and won a Senate seat under the platform of United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) but the death of General Sani Abacha stultified his ambition. The following year, he joined the transition politics and joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He successfully ran for Senate seat in 1999. It’s instructive to note that he has remained in PDP since 1999. In May 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
Anyim holds LL.B Honors (1987), BL. (1989); LL.M (1991) and is the principal partner at Prestige Law Resource Partners. He also holds the second highest National Honours of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
Anyim’s increasing acceptance has, no doubt, altered the permutations for the presidential race. I am confident that Anyim will bring his candor and courage to bear on the discussions leading to party primaries particularly at this time of economic, social and security challenges. Happy 61st birthday to this ‘gentle giant’ from Ishiagu. May God continue to illuminate your path.
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