Anenih praises Jonathan for NPA appointment, dismisses corruption allegation as propaganda

Tony Anenih
Tony Anenih

A former Minister of Works, Tony Anenih, has made it clear he was not troubled by a frenzied outcry trailing his appointment as chairman of the board of the Nigeria Ports Authority, dismissing allegations of his indictment for corruption as“media propaganda”.

He also said Mr. Jonathan exercised his discretion rightly by appointing him to head the NPA and that there were no reasons for mischievous characters to bellyache over his appointment.

In his first official reaction to the barrage of condemnation over the appointment, Mr. Anenih said in a statement on Thursday that “silence is golden in times like this”, and restrained his supporters from joining issues with his critics.

“The attention of Chief Tony Anenih, the Iyasele of Esan land, has been drawn to several newspaper publications in the last few days about his recent appointment as Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the effort by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fill the vacant position of its Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman,” a statement signed by his personal assistant, Peter Abulu, said.

“While Chief Anenih appreciates the concerns of some Nigerians about some mischievous publications on these issues, he believes silence is golden in times like this, and has requested concerned Nigerians not to join issues with the opposition elements in their mischievous enterprise.”

Mr. Anenih’s appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan a fortnight ago to the position sparked outrage, with critics highlighting the decision as further proof of the Jonathan administration’s feeble anti-corruption credential.

Mr. Anenih, a former chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, has once held the NPA top job, and was a former minister of works. His tenure as works minister was characterized by allegations of graft.

The NPA board chairmanship appears to have been reserved as a honey pot for the ruling PDP’s influential officials, having also been held by a former PDP south west leader, Bode George. Mr. George was convicted for corruption and jailed for two years.

A 2009 senate report indicted Mr. Anenih for monumental corruption as minister of works – a position he held under former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

The report said under Mr. Anenih, several billions of naira were unaccounted for, and dubious practices including contract splitting and irregular contract awards were rife. The senate report recommended Mr. Anenih, alongside other officials, for prosecution.

The recommendations received no attention under the Yar’adua administration, and the Jonathan administration too has not acted on the outcome of the report.

Instead, under Mr. Yar’adua, Mr. Anenih loomed large as a powerful figure with Mr. Jonathan later appointing him to the NPA job.

The report resurfaced shortly after the announcement of Mr. Anenih’s reappointment two weeks ago, stirring intense anger.

In the statement released, Mr. Anenih said the decision on the constitution of the NPA board, as well as that of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, were those of President Jonathan and the party respectively.

He said: “The appointment of Chief Anenih as Chairman of NPA Board was the absolute discretion of Mr. President and the filling of the vacant position of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP is the absolute discretion of the party leadership and BoT members.  It should not be a matter for media propaganda.”

  • True9jaDeltan

    How will he be troubled and why would he not praise Jonathan his boy boy for the appointment when this old, ugly thief who is nearing his grave has no shame?. we are waiting to see how much of your loot and NPA position you would take to your grave. Useless old fool!!!!!!

    • Deltababe

      Thank you my bro, an 80year old man with no shame. Why can’t he tell Jonathan to put his first son there if they really have to do paddy paddy government. Nigeria is so frustrating. Is there any hope for the young generation? That olds peoples home he donated to UCH Ibadan, he shall be the first to be wheeled into the place. Foolish man. Blood is crying over your head.

  • Serere

    It is now clear that Jonathan is out of his senses. I don’t think this guy knows what he is doing again. How on earth would he appoint a dead man into this position – the door of the Nigeria economy. How many people of this man’s age do you see ruling in any serious country? When are we going to learn? With all these allegations leveled against this old fool, thug and thief, Jonathan still went out of his way to appoint him as the chairman of the of NPA. This is terrible! Are there no reasonable and responsible people to occupy this position? Why would he choose this old thing called Anenih at this critical time that our dear country (Nigeria) needs to move up? Why do you always put obstacles and huddles on the way for our country to move up? Anenih is another obstacle. He is another huddle on Nigeria’s way to move up. No wonder that Nigeria is being accused of being big for nothing!

  • Babasele

    Mr. Anenih, if you have no shame at your age it is unfortunate. Search your conscience. Have you ever thought of the legacy you’ll leave behind? Have you ever thought that your name will be an albatross to your children? Live your age!!!

  • Duoarc

    Well let the corruption charge be ‘ignored’, should be be ruled by the same old generation? This same people said that the youths are the future, when is that future? Have we not gotten there yet? Or when shall we get there? They have had their share, it’s time for us to make our own impact!

  • Foresight

    It is a strategy for political self-survival. However, Chief Anenih has one last chance to redeem his battered image. VP Sambo has pitched tent with IBB, Buhari, etc (check the reports on VP Sambo’s daughters’ wedding). D/4, President Jonathan needs some strong ”bad guys” for political survival. 2015 may be part of it. That’s Nigerian politics for you