This book deals with the story of an individual who overcame the constraints of his very humble beginnings in a peasant environment to master his circumstance and rise beyond it to play a pivotal role in the politics of the nation where he succeeded beyond all sanguine expectations. His resounding successes in business and politics show clearly that this is the story of hard work, courage, rugged determination to succeed, an indomitable will, a resolute disposition, steadfastness in espousing worthy causes and a story of adaptability to changing circumstances; it is the story of working with men in spite of their weaknesses and failures; it is the story of sticking to principles which are invaluable for success; it is the story of selfless service; it is the story of sacrifice. Above all, it is the story of realpolitik. The details of the qualities which propelled Chief Tony Anenih on his journey of life are clearly set out with meticulous care without sacrificing objectivity. Readers will be able to appreciate the conditions under which he laboured to be what he is today.
Born at Arue in the suburbs of Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, Chief Anthony Akakhon Anenih grew up in an environment of limited opportunities. His enlistment in the Nigeria Police Force in 1951 opened for him a career and profession where his diligence and precocity made him outstanding in a rapid progression through the ranks from recruit to Commissioner of Police before his voluntary retirement in 1976.
On leaving the Police Force, he ventured into business establishing Yakon Motors, Yakon Chemists in Benin City, the Safeway Supermarket in Warri and the Electronic shop in Enugu and politics where he has played a pivotal role in the making of Governors and equally helped in the making of Presidents of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He was chairman of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in Bendel State, member of the National Constitutional Conference, National Campaign Director Yar’Adua Presidential Campaign Organization, and National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He was one of the pioneers in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) becoming the Minister for Works and Housing in the Obasanjo first administration. He was chairman of the Board of Trustees, for the second time, of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He received the national honours award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, CFR, and has also received numerous chieftancy titles and honorary doctorate degree awards from several Universities in Nigeria. Chief Tony Anenih remains relevant in Nigerian politics today – a political colossus, an inimitable tactician and strategist, a master planner, a respected elder statesman who is frequently called upon to calm and stabilize tempestuous political storms.
He is married with children.