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Home arrow Africa arrow Enahoro dies at 87 •Jonathan, govs, OBJ, Nigerians react
Enahoro dies at 87 •Jonathan, govs, OBJ, Nigerians react PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tribune   
Dec 16, 2010 at 04:24 AM

ONE of the titans of Nigeria’s struggle for political independence and pro-democracy icon, Chief Anthony Enahoro, finally took a bow on Wednesday at the age of 87

ONE of the titans of Nigeria’s struggle for political independence and pro-democracy icon, Chief Anthony Enahoro, finally took a bow on Wednesday at the age of 87 after a protracted battle with diabetes and other unspecified old age-related illnesses.

The foremost nationalist was reported to have died at 6.00 a.m. with his wife beside him at his residence, 10 Aideyan Street, GRA, Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Pa Enahoro’s death was confirmed by his second son, Eugene, who said that the family would issue an official statement in that regard after a meeting over the death of the family’s patriarch.

Enahoro’s eldest son, Ken, was seen at the palace of the Oba of Benin at noon on Wednesday, where he was said to have gone to inform the palace of the death of his father and reportedly requested to know what the family would do with the Benin traditional bead of honour which Oba Akenzua II had presented to their father now that he was dead.

However, the Benin monarch expressed sadness over the death of Enahoro and later directed some palace chiefs to tell Ken what to do with respect to the Benin traditional bead of honour Oba Akenzua presented to Enahoro.

Chief Enahoro was admitted to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) in early November, following the severity of his illness which, according to reports, landed him in a state of coma. But he was said to have been discharged from the hospital about three weeks later.

Just on Tuesday, Chief Enahoro sent a condolence message to the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, over the recent death of his wife, Clara. Enahoro’s wife signed the condolence message.

Enahoro entered history books at the age of 22 as one of the youngest editors Nigeria had ever known, when he became the editor of the Comet newspaper, one of the numerous titles under the stable of the famed West African Pilot, published by Nigeria’s first president, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

However, Enahoro came into greater national prominence when he moved a motion for self government in 1953.

President Goodluck Jonathan said he received the death of Chief Enahoro with great sadness and urged the 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 that 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.

The Edo State government, in a statement signed by the governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said the people and government of the state received with great shock and grief news of the passing of Chief Enahoro. “The death of Chief Enahoro is a loss not only to the Enahoro family, but also to the people of Edo State and Nigeria as a whole.

“Even while we mourn the loss of this outstanding icon, we are also inspired to celebrate his remarkable life and accomplishments. He was a leader of proven commitment, tenacity and courage in the struggle for a better Nigeria. His passion about a just, democratic and united Nigeria was a common thread that ran through his sterling career in journalism, public service, politics and pro-democracy activism. Nigeria was the centrepiece of Chief Enahoro’s thoughts and actions throughout his eventful life as a foremost nationalist, pro-democracy fighter and elder statesman,” the governor added.

According to Oshiomhole, it was fitting to recall Enahoro’s outstanding contributions to the attainment of the country’s independence, saying “Although relatively much younger, he stood shoulder to shoulder with nationalist icons like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Mr Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Comrade Michael Imoudu, who provided leadership for the struggle against a vicious colonial order.”

He further said “today, the story of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence is incomplete without his bold motion for independence in 1953. His motion for independence, entitled Let my People Go, was laced with a resounding denunciation of oppression and injustice, which reminds of the weighty thoughts of such revolutionary icons as Fidel Castro, Kwame Nkrumah and Nelson Mandela.”

Oshiomhole said even at old age, Chief Enahoro continued to apply himself to the challenges of the nation, as an agent of change and progress.

Also, deputy premier of the defunct Mid-West Region, Chief James Epkere Otobo, said the death of Enahoro was one of the things that were natural to human beings.

“Now he is dead and the only person left who took part in the independence talks with Britain is Alhaji Shehu Shagari and I. I tried to reach him when he was in the hospital. I tried to reach him so that we could discuss 2011 election. Now he is gone,” Otobo added.

Third Republic senator and deputy speaker in the defunct Bendel State, Senator Francis Okpozo, said the death of Enahoro was a big loss, because he was one of the nationalists to put Nigeria on the platform of democracy.

The first civilian governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said “this is a monumental loss to the family and nation. Firstly, my condolences to the wife, children and family. May God give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Also, a former deputy Senate president, Albert Legogie, said “Enahoro’s death has brought to an end, an era of positive, political activism in Nigeria. Surely, Nigeria has missed a giant.”

The Edo State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, described the death of Enahoro as a sad day for democracy, saying that “we have lost one of the fearless and courageous democrats in Nigerian politics.”

The Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri, said the passing on of Pa Enahoro was a sad moment for the people of Edo State, Nigeria and the entire Black World.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, said the passage of Chief Anthony Enahoro was a great loss to the nation.

He spoke with airport reporters shortly after his arrival from Algiers, the capital of Algeria, at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to him, Enahoro was a committed and dedicated politician, adding that it would be difficult to fill the vacuum created by his death.

“It is a great loss to the nation. The likes of Enahoro will be very difficult to replace in Nigeria. He was committed, dedicated, patriotic and a nationalist,” he said.

Governor Aliyu Babangida of Niger State said the late elder statesman would be remembered for his contribution to the development of the country, especially during the nation’s trying political period.

He said the country would miss Chief Enahoro, especially now that the nation was going through some challenges in the political arena.

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State described Enahoro’s death as a low moment for Nigeria.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Usoro I. Usoro, he said Enahoro’s death robbed the nation of a political icon, whose experience and contributions were needed at this time of political development.

The Kwara State governor, Dr Bukola Saraki, described the death of Enahoro as a great shock and national loss to the country.

In a condolence message to the deceased’s family, the government and people of Edo State, Dr Saraki said the death of the foremost nationalist came at a time when the country needed his wealth of experience to further help in strengthening democratic governance in our country.

Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State described the death of Enahoro as the exit of Nigeria’s independence beacon.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Public Communications, Dotun Oyelade, Alao-Akala said Chief Enahoro was the engine room that provided the intellectual bent to the independence struggle from the colonialists.

Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, described the death of Enahoro, as “the end of an era of one of the pillars of the nation’s independence and the long fight to enthrone democracy.”

Fayemi, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mojeed Jamiu, said Enahoro etched his name in the hall of fame of Nigerian politics and evolution as a nation by moving the motion for independence as a young member of the federal parliament.

The Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, described the death of Pa Enahoro as a great loss to the nation, describing him as an outstanding patriot and democracy activist.

Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State described the death of Pa Enahoro as a major loss to the country at a critical juncture in the nation's history.

The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Adegbenro Adebanjo, said with his death, the country had lost the last of the titans who fought for independence and a better society.

Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, described the elder statesman as a principled and courageous nationalist.

In a condolence letter to the widow of Pa Enahoro, Helen, Governor Fashola noted that that the political icon and the Adolo of Uromi, who, according to him, “bestrode the political landscape of our dear country for over six decades,” was selfless and committed to the cause of true federalism and a strong, united, prosperous Nigeria.

Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, described Pa Enahoro as an undefiled nationalist and one of the fathers of the nation’s democracy.

Aregbesola, in a statement signed by head of media and publicity, Gbenga Fayemiwo, said he lived a life of puritanical commitment to the ideals of democracy from his youthful years to adulthood.

The Kano State governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, described the death of Chief Enahoro as shocking, saying that his death had robbed the country of a patriotic, principled person who fought for the unity of the country.

Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State described the demise of Enahoro as the passage of an icon of Nigeria’s struggle for independence and pillar of democracy.

The governor, in a statement issued by his Director of Press and Publication, Mr James Mannock, said Nigeria would miss a man of honour and integrity, who sacrificed for the birth of the nation.

Governor Olusegun Mimiko described the death of the late nationalist as the death of the last of the titans; the demise of an exemplar of all that is good and commendable of the golden era of the country.

The governor said the death of Enahoro at this critical point in the history of Nigeria was a huge loss; not only in terms of the loss of a great life, but the loss of a moderating factor, a stabilising quantity and a unifying personify.

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State lamented the death of Enahoro, saying it was a great loss to the nation.

Obi, in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday said “Nigeria has lost a patriot, a nationalist and an elder statesman par excellence.”

Governor Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi of Zamfara State described the death of Pa Enahoro as a colossal loss to the country.

The governor, in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Government House, Gusau, Alhaji Adamu Sani Katuru and made available to the Nigerian Tribune, contended that for Enahoro to die when the country was heading for the polls in 2011 was a tragedy.

Former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, described him as the last of the titans.

Prince Oyinlola, in a statement, said Pa Enahoro lived a fulfilled life of service to Nigeria and to Nigerians.

Also, the former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Olusegun Oni, described the death of the late Pa Enahoro as the exit of a man of historical destiny, who was created specially to make a particular mark in the political growth of Nigeria, saying that “a mighty tree has, indeed, fallen in Nigeria.”

Also, a former minister, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, described the late Enahoro as one of the builders of Nigerian state, adding that he was a nationalist who never tolerated all the antics of the British colonialists.

Babatope said apart from being the first to move the motion for independence of the country, it was under the leadership of Enahoro as Minister of Information and Home Affairs under the administration of Chief Obafemi Awolowo that the first television in Africa, the WNTV, was etablished


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