Anyim: When grace beckons, By Jerry Uhuo | NN NEWS


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In the history of human creation, God has constantly demonstrated his power over His creatures even though He has given them freedom to choose how to live and organise the human society. 

When God wanted to liberate the Israelites from the oppression of Pharaoh, He set up a human process that brought out Moses who God commissioned to lead the people. It was not an easy task but with God, Moses prevailed through the grace upon him. 

It has been established overtime, that no one takes upon himself the mantle of leadership except it is given to him by God.  Even the Holy Scripture attests to this in Hebrew 4:4-6, “No one takes this honour upon himself unless he is called to it by God”. 

When Apostle Paul wanted to commission his protégé, Timothy as a leader, he told him, “You therefore, my son, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:2). We are only able to lead effectively after grace strengthens us. 

When Grace beckons, the urge is unstoppable. That is the case of Anyim Pius Anyim. I have known Anyim Pius Anyim since the days of Secondary School at John Boscos, now known as Ishiagu High School. He has always been a man under exceeding grace. 

Fast forward, Anyim was elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999. The Senate of the 4th Republic was politically turbulent in the leadership of both Senate and House of Representatives. The interference of the Executive was not very helpful coupled with the fact that many of the Senators and Members were new and had no experience. 

With the confusion of whether he was Evans or Evan, Senator Evans (Evan) Enwerem,  who the Senate  first elected as President of the Senate was impeachment. Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, an erudite political scientist was elected to replace him. 

It was not long after his election, the controversial contract award of Street lights to the National Assembly came up. Of course, the executive was not comfortable with Okadigbo and needed someone to replace him. In one of those debates during the plenary, Anyim, raised his voice in opposition to the issue on the floor, camera picked him, the executive noticed him. He was in the news the following day. The next Senate plenary, Okadigbo was impeached, Senator Anyim was thrown up. He was elected President of the Senate. That was grace. With him, the turbulence in the Senate leadership was stabilised. 

If the executive felt they had gotten a gavel on their side in Anyim, it was expectation taken too far. Anyim led a legislature which asserted its independence over the executive until he left office in 2003. That was grace. 

In 2010, seven years after, Nigeria found herself in political imbroglio following the death of President Musa Yar’Adua in Office. The President had travelled for medical attention without formally transmitting power to his Vice, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and he couldn’t return. There was no constitutional provision as to what should happen in such circumstances. The National Assembly was battling with finding solution to avoid a vacuum in the seat of power. 

Again Anyim surfaced with the idea of the Doctrine of Necessity. He led a delegation to the Senate leadership to propose the idea and also to the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. That saved Nigeria from imminent leadership crisis. When Jonathan took over, he appointed Anyim Secretary to Government of the Federation. This was in recognition of his ingenious contribution to resolving Nigeria’s most critical political issue. 

Anyim helped in no small measures to stabilise the administration of Jonathan with various innovation and creativity he brought to bear. He rallied Nigerians and motivated the two arms of the Legislature and Judiciary in support of Goodluck administration. 

Anyim demonstrated leadership and capacity epitomising American General Montgomery when he said: “My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence”. Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-American author and Management who stated that “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations”. That was what Anyim has done in Nigeria in the two occasions he had course to lead this country in carrying out important duties. 

Anyim does not belong to the noisy group. He does not believe in media hype or propaganda. His experience in public service from defunct MAMSER, to National Refuge Commission and into politics and deep religious conviction, has shaped him to be a man of few words but with visible and pragmatic approach to leadership. 

He is a man under Grace. Like in 2000 when he became the President of the Senate by consensus of Senators, he has presented himself to Nigerians, that same Grace is beckoning on him once again to salvage this country. He could just be God’s instrument to save this nation like the case of the Doctrine of Necessity. Who knows, Grace really beckons. 

•Jerry Uhuo, a media professional, writes from FCT Abuja. 

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