Jonathan, Obasanjo, Atiku, govs, others react

Enahoro can never be forgotten – Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan said he received with great sadness the news of the passing away in Benin of one of Nigeria’s foremost nationalists and elder statesmen, Chief Anthony Enahoro, yesterday, adding that his contributions to democracy will not be forgotten.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Ima Niboro, the president on behalf of himself, his family, the government and people of Nigeria, extended his heartfelt condolences to Chief Enahoro’s family and the government and people of Edo State.

“President Jonathan urged Chief Enahoro’s family to take solace in the knowledge that he lived a very fulfilled life of patriotic service to the nation. The president noted that the entire nation would always remember with appreciation Chief Enahoro’s immense contributions to the struggle for independence and freedom from colonialism, and thereafter, his notable inputs to national development and the growth of democracy.

President Jonathan said Chief Enahoro would also be remembered for remaining at the forefront of the struggle for freedom from dictatorship and protection of the civil rights of Nigerians long after most of his peers had left the national stage.

He was great nationalist – Obasanjo

Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described the late Pa Anthony Enahoro as a selfless and dedicated nationalist whose death has shaken the country to its foundation. Fielding questions from newsmen in Lagos airport, he said the likes of the late elder statesman would be hard to find in Nigeria today.

“He was committed, dedicated, patriotic and also a nationalist…I believe that the best way to immortalize a patriot and a nationalist is to make sure that the work he has done is not in vain and may Chief Enahoro’s soul rest in perfect peace,” he stated.

…Eclipse of a bright star – Atiku

Former vice president and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has described the death of foremost nationalist, as the eclipse of one of the brightest stars in Nigeria’s political firmament. A statement by the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organization in Abuja yesterday called Enahoro a patriot and a true democrat, adding that his death marks the end of an era.

“As the first statesman to raise the motion for independence in 1952,” Atiku said, “Nigerians will forever remain grateful to the sacrifices made by Pa Enahoro to free the country from the shackles of colonial domination and imperialism.
He said the best tribute to this trailblazer and fountain of inspiration is for all Nigerian leaders to emulate his virtues of activism and patriotism.

…He liberated us –Mark

In his condolence message, President of the Senate, Senator David Mark described the late Enahoro as a dogged, irrepressible and courageous parliamentarian who fought to liberate Nigeria from the apron string of the colonial imperialists. “We have lost a great African, a foremost parliamentarian, father of modern Nigeria and a man of many positive parts,” stressing that Nigerians and generations yet unborn would miss Chief Enahoro, “especially now that patriotism and commitment to nationhood is most desirable.”

Senator Mark noted that the late Chief Enahoro until his death was an apostle of true federalism where every citizen had a right to pursue his or her God given potentials without ethnic or religious inhibitions thus urged the federal and Edo State governments to immortalise Enahoro for his selfless services to the nation. In his own reaction, Senator Osita Izunaso (PDP Imo) noted that but for the bravery and patriotism of the late Chief Enahoro, the foundation of the entity called Nigeria would not have been achieved.

…We have lost a titan –Bankole

Extolling the virtues of Pa Enahoro, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole said he would be remembered for his selfless struggle for freedom and social justice, noting that the nation would miss his timely advice on issues of national importance. “Pa left behind a legacy of selfless struggle for a just and egalitarian society where the welfare of the common man is paramount.” He added that the elder statesman not only lived a worthy life of service, but was also glorious in death.

Speaking in the same vein, Senator Anthony Manzo (PDP Taraba) said the struggle and campaign for the liberation of the country from the shackles of corruption, nepotism, bad governance, among other vices embarked upon by the late Chief Enahoro at the expense of his comfort distinguished him as a nationalist and true representative of the people.
Also reacting, Senator Ganiyu Solomon (ACN Lagos) said the late Chief Enahoro would be remembered for the struggles to free Nigeria and Nigerians from political slavery, adding that Chief Enahoro was at the fore front of the fight for the restoration of June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

“It is sad that he exited, while Nigeria still grapples to make real democracy out of civil rule that is going into its twelfth year. You might not always agree with him. But you can’t doubt that he was a patriot of the highest crust. When democracy got threatened in our nation, during the jackboot Abacha years, he joined the younger elements, at great risks to his life, to fight the military to a standstill… It is a pity that Nigeria never became the democracy of Chief Enahoro’s dream. But that job is left for all of us he has left behind to do.”

Asked how best to help fulfil Enahoro’s unfulfilled dream, Asiwaju Tinubu said the task was clear, if not so simple.“We must ensure that the next general elections represent the will of the people. Every vote must count and be counted. The choice of the people must be installed to rule over them. That is the only way we can do tribute to the memory of this great Nigerian, who gave his all to the service of his country,” Tinubu said.

He died a sad man –Dabiri-Erewa

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) member of the House of Representatives from Ikorodu Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has lamented that Pa Enahoro died a sad man. Reacting to the demise of Pa Enahoro, Dabiri-Erewa said surely, what the foremost nationalist left behind was a far cry from his dreams, when he moved the motion for the independence of Nigeria from colonial rule. According to her, the state of affairs in the country as of today was a betrayal of the founding fathers, including Pa Enahoro when they confronted the colonial masters for freedom.

“It is a sad news, Papa is old but I am convinced that he died a sad man. Nigeria of today is not the kind of dreams he, like his peers dreamt when they went into the trenches to battle colonialism. The only way to immortalize Pa Enahoro, she said was to sustain the legacy of patriotism and commitment to a just and egalitarian nation for the present and future generations. Because the late nationalist stood on the side of the people, Dabiri-Erewa also called on lawmakers to emulate him by changing their attitude to politics and lawmaking.

Adetokunbo Kayode

Similarly, Minister of Defence, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) said Nigeria had lost one of the foremost political leaders, who fought for the liberation of the country from the shackles of colonialism. He noted that roles of the late nationalist would remain indelible in the history of Nigeria. Pa Enahoro, he stated represented a bridge between the old and the new Nigeria, adding that he would be missed greatly, particularly in the camp of the progressives.

Afenifere, Gbonigi, Adekanmbi

The Yoruba socio cultural group Afenifere yesterday described the death of Enahoro as shocking.
The group noted that the contributions of the foremost nationalist to the attainment of independence in 1960 would remain ever green in the minds of Nigerians and the generations unborn. The leader of Afenifere, Pa Reueben Fasoranti was of the opinion that a monumental building should be named after the renowned journalist to honour him for his outstanding contributions to the development of Nigeria.

He described Enahoro as a principled man who does not compromise his stance because of financial gains.
“He was a true nationalist; he started the struggle when he was in school. He was a follower of the late Obafemi Awolowo to a point before he joined another party. “Nigeria will miss him because he was very bold in expressing his view. We shall miss him and his ideas. I want the Federal Government to honour him by naming a very big landmark building or institution after him. “He was a very good journalist who will be remembered for his penchant for the truth at all times. He never compromised his stance on issues.”

In his reaction, the retired bishop of Akure Anglican Diocese, Reverend Bolanle Gbonigi thanked God for a fruitful life which the late journalist lived while on earth. Gbonigi said Enahoro made great positive contributions to our national life, particularly in the area of politics, adding that the foremost nationalist was a loving and kind person. The retired Anglican bishop called for the immortalization of Enahoro for his contributions to the development and advancement of Nigeria.
A chieftain of the Labour Party in Ondo State, Chief Olufemi Adekanmbi said the octogenarian was a man of high moral rectitude and journalist par excellence when he was alive.

We’ve lost a committed patriot –Tanko Yakassai
Second republic adviser to the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai on Wednesday in Kano, mourned the passage of the late nationalist, Chief Anthony Enaharo, saying his death was a great loss to the nation.
Yakassai recalled in a press release made available to the media in the state, recalled that his death was not only a loss to his family, or to the people of Edo State but to the entire people of the country as a whole.

He regretted that, “by his death the nation has lost a committed patriot, who served Nigeria selflessly.”
He mourned that, “Chief Enaharo’s name will forever remain in annals of Nigeria history, being the first Nigeria to sponsor the motion for the independence of Nigeria in 1953, which gave the Nigerian nationalists of that time the inspiration to further struggle for freedom.”

Tanko, also a first republic politician declared: “I feel proud to have been associated with the late national icon on many occasions in the struggle to build a just and united Nigeria where every one will live in peace and harmony with one another.”

Bukola Saraki

The Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki said the death of the foremost nationalist came at a time the country needed his wealth of experience to further help in strengthening democratic governance in our country.
“The late elder statesman was a hero during his life time and will remain so even in death. No doubt, he has left behind an indelible footprint in the sand of time that will be difficult to surpass,” the governor said.

His death challenges us –Gov Obi

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi said he was “struck by the depth of Enahoro’s love for Nigeria that even in ill health and at the age of 87, he was still actively seeking solutions to our problems.” Obi noted that Enahoro’s life of public service posed a challenge to all Nigerians. “The honour we owe his good name and good works is to ensure that his labours would not be in vain. Those of us coming after him ought to improve on the contributions of our founding fathers. But I do not know how many in our generation that can match his progressive spirit.”

Extending his condolences to the family of the deceased and the government and people of Edo State, Governor Obi said the issue of life and death was firmly in God’s hands. “Death leads to another phase of existence,” he consoled.

Balarabe Musa, Fani-Kayode mourn

First civilian governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa yesterday described the death of late Pa Anthony Enahoro, as a great loss to Nigerians in general, and the progressives in particularly. This is even as former Aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode described him as a ‘titan’, who started the fight for Nigeria’s independence.

Speaking with Daily Sun on phone yesterday, Musa noted that those who would missed him most were those who were committed to progressive change in Nigeria, adding that “he will be remembered as the first person to move the motion for Nigeria’s independence. Don’t forget, he has been leading the progressive movement since 1999, till date, a situation that culminated in the formation of a Summit Mega Movement, established three to four years ago, for the purpose of forming a strong opposition party and do for the country what the PDP has consistently failed to do. So the only way the progressives can immortalize him, is to come together and rescue Nigeria in 2011.”

On his part, Chief Fani-Kayode said Enahoro said: “He believed in Nigeria but he also believed that for Nigeria to continue as one nation into the distant future true federalism had to be established and the yearnings and aspirations of the various nationalities that make up our great country had to be honoured and respected. He has left us now and passed on and those of us in the next generation will continue that fight and take it to the logical conclusion.

Enahoro was a great man. He was a man of honour. He was a man of unimpeachable integrity and courage and we will miss his regular contributions to our national discourse immensely. Here lies a Roman and a Spartan all in one. May his great and powerful soul rest in perfect peace.”


On his part, former Anthony General of the Federation, Chief Richard Akinjide described the late elder states man as one o the greatest leaders the country had ever produced. In the same vein, National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu said Enahoro was a great Nigerian leader who fought all through his adult life for a better Nigeria. The ADC leader said with his death Nigeria had “lost a tireless fighter, progressive and nationalist.”

A gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said “this Wednesday is a sad day for Nigeria.” Amosun recalled that Chief Enahoro remained consistent in the struggle for a better Nigeria until his death and promised to join other like-minded progressives to improve the lot of the Nigerian masses.

End of the continent’s political titans –Ohaneze Ndigbo

Ohaneze Ndigbo said Chief Enahoro’s death draws the curtain on an age of the very best the continent’s political titans.
In the message signed by President General of Igbo apex socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, said, his struggle for democracy and good governance in our country was unrelenting and his many patriotic attributes would enshrine him in national esteem in perpetuity.

Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa

“His death is a big loss because his voice used to be a voice of caution, the voice that was unfying the country, the voice that comes and touches the heart of people in the political arena and people realize that whatever we do, whatever struggle that are on there, was always the need to remember that we have one Nigeria and our founding fathers fought for it and we must continue to maintain that one nation. And realize the need to remain one.”

Soyinka, Diya

In a telephone interview with Daily Sun, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, said: “I share with everybody, the sense of loss. I think it will be a while before we get used to the idea that Enahoro is no longer with us.”
Also speaking with Daily Sun, former Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Oladipo Diya, said “it is a shock to me and members of my family. We knew he died an old man but nobody expected that he would pass on so soon, especially now that we are all looking forward towards a successful 2011.

“Nevertheless, we thank God for his life. He served his country very well and we are all very proud of him and happy that whatever it is, his name will remain indelible in the annals of the history of our country. May his great soul continue to rest in perfect peace.” In his remark, Chief Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, said “a great nationalist, a patriot, a fighter for human rights and a just and equitable society is gone. He is probably the last of the titans. We pray that his soul rest in peace and that this would signify a change of guards.”

Source: Daily Sun – 16 Dec 2010

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