Chief Anthony Anenih, one of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) most iconic and infamous figures, may emerge the chairman of its Board of Trustees (BOT) tonight as President Goodluck Jonathan moves to wrest power from the grip of State Governors.
There has been a stalemate on the issue since former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s resignation, but our source at PDP secretariat confirmed that PDP Board members are meeting at State House Banquet hall tonight to consider reports from the Ojo Madueke and Jerry Gana's committees before going ahead to rubberstamp Mr. Jonathan’s choice for the vacant BOT chairmanship.
Meanwhile, some renegade state Governors, including Godswil Akpabio, Ibrahim Shema, Dickson and Gabriel Suswam are being used as spoilers to thwart any move by their colleagues to challenge Jonathan’s 2015 re-election ambition.
It is understood that President GEJ has obtained the support of the chieftains of the National Assembly (NASS), especially Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal on his choice of Mr. Anenih. The two NASS leaders have agreed to soft-pedal on their positions on the 2013 budget as well as the vexed subject of pension fund scammers.
Mr. Anenih was briefly chairman of the BOT in 2007 but was outmanoevred by Obasanjo, who used his leverage in the party and the greed of many of its leaders to his advantage.
Analysts say Mr. Anenih, who is widely known as “Mr. Fix-It” on account of his ruthlessness, would be the perfect BOT leader for Mr. Jonathan because he knows how to manipulate elections and would be needed by Mr. Jonathan because he cannot win a free and fair election on account of his dismal record.
“The 2015 election will be a referendum on the 16 years of the PDP in control in Nigeria, half of it with Mr. Jonathan as Number One or Number Two, and during which Nigeria has walked backwards,” one analyst said. “To that extent, and whichever way you look at it, there is no way they can reasonably present an election campaign most Nigerians will buy. So Anenih, who knows where the bodies are buried, or where to bury them, will be the perfect choice to deliver a dark election for Mr. Jonathan and damn the consequences.”
Last year, Mr. Jonathan appointed Mr. Anenih to the lucrative post of chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, ostensibly to corner valuable funds for his forthcoming re-election effort.