Presidency: I am Not Coming to Learn on the Job, Anyim Tells Former PDP Ministers.


26th April 2022

For Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Senate President, it was homecoming of sorts when he met with ministers who served in the 16 years that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power under the auspices of ‘Forum of Former PDP Ministers.’

The meeting which held on Tuesday night in Abuja was in continuation of Anyim’s interface with critical stakeholders in the party as he takes his presidential aspiration to the finishing line.

Anyim, who was also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), told the former ministers, most of who worked with him in government, that he has the singular advantage of not coming to learn on the job when he is elected President in 2023.

Anyim reminded the former ministers that they have come a long way together. “There is one thing I have which other aspirants don’t. There is no minister here who didn’t serve in government with me. None! It is either you served with me when I was President of the Senate or SGF. So, for me, this is truly homecoming.”

While admitting that the challenges facing the country today are enormous and urging every member of the opposition party, particularly the leadership cadre, to think for the country and its citizens, Anyim, nevertheless, reiterated his belief that the country can be salvaged.

“I believe that Nigeria can be great again and I believe that together we can do that,” he told the former ministers who came in their numbers to listen to him.

Anyim who said he has clear economic, political and social integration agenda said the 2023 elections will be critical to the survival of Nigeria.

Harping on his unique advantage, the former Senate President said he is not coming to Abuja to learn on the job.

“There is one thing that I have which many do not have. I have lived in Abuja for 33 years. And I have spent all my life working around the presidency. When I worked as a civil servant, it was in two parastatals in the presidency. As President of the Senate, I worked along with the President of the country. When I worked as SGF, that was the engine room of the presidency where all of you served, providing the fire,” he told the former ministers led by Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs and former supervising Minister, Ministry of Labour.

“My experiences are cognate. I am not going to learn on the job, I am going to continue from where we stopped. I understand Nigeria. I don’t need to come to Abuja to know you, I have worked with all of you. I don’t need to come to Abuja to understand how many tribes we have in Nigeria. There is no part of the country that I have not been to. I am not coming to Abuja to learn how to enter the Villa or navigate through the streets of Abuja. I have been here for 33 years. I am good to go. That is my special advantage.”

Urging the former ministers to provide the leadership that will ensure free and fair primary elections, Anyim reminded them of what is at stake.

“When the chairman of this Forum, Turaki, said that you have resolved to take more than a passing interest in the affairs of the party in general and the upcoming 2023 elections, in particular, that is the way it should be. A voice of reason must arise from this Forum, a voice of conscience must arise from here, a voice of patriotism must arise from here and I say this with all sense of responsibility.

“Yes, though I held office as the SGF which is the engine room of government, the ministers are the throttle that fires that engine and you all were able to fire our government from the beginning to the end, stabilized the nation and delivered an economy, political environment that served Nigeria well.”

Anyim, who emphasized the theme of his campaign as ‘Greater Nigeria 2023,’ segmented the challenges facing the country into three – political, social and economic. Of the three, he said the most fundamental was political because “it is the political process that recruits leaders and the problem of Nigeria is leadership.”

“Today, people wake up and talk about 2023 elections. But what we are talking about is the process of recruiting a new leader for Nigeria.  If we recruit the wrong leader, we will sink further, but if we recruit the right leader, the country will be rescued.

“In 2015, APC recruited the current administration and we are where we are today.

“If we make the same mistake we made in 2015, it will be worse. The process we are in today is a process of leadership recruitment and I will emphasise that if we get it right and recruit the right leadership, it will lead the country back to the path of growth, prosperity, progress, peace and stability.

“Today in Nigeria, there are concerns about insecurity, economic downturn and things are not going well generally and people are making promises on what they will do to revamp the economy, solve the insecurity problem, but I want to emphasise that if we don’t have the right leadership, the economy cannot be revived.”

Anyim said if he is elected President in 2023, he will refocus and rebuild the country.

“Today, there is helplessness, there is hopelessness, we need a person that has experience, we need a person that understands the nuances of governance, someone that when he stands up, Nigerians will have that hope that their Moses has come.”

Some of the former ministers who attended the meeting included Olusegun Mimiko, Osita Chidoka, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Boni Haruna, Dubem Onyia, Kenneth Gbagi, Becky Ketembu, Godsday Orubebe, Mohammed Wakil, Damishi Sango, Muktar Shagari, Architect Gabriel Aduku, Labaran Maku, Solomon Ewuga, Musa Mohammed Sada, Isa Ibrahim, Sanusi Daggash.