• * The Ex-Senate President 'A Man Of Integrity, Dependable Friend, Detribalized Leader'
  • I Will Henceforth Continue To Serve God And Humanity, Says Anyim

By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief) @CeleOkaf11 and Janet Bassey (Governance Reporter)

Encomiums, warm commendations and exhortations, poured like torrential rain on the former Senate President and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (GCON), as he celebrates his 60th birthday bash at his Abuja residence, on Friday evening, February 19, 2021.

Anyim who looked every inch a happy and fulfilled man as he joins the Sexagenarian age of sixty at the weekend, invited a few of his numerous eminent friends, family members and well-wishers, to felicitate with him and his family on his 60th birthday celebration. The Nigeria's former number three citizen would have had his home and office brimming with more prominent Nigerians, diplomats, political and business associates, friends and ordinary Nigerians, if not for the need to observe the Covid-19 protocols of restrictive gathering.

Anyim's ornate residence in Abuja was beautifully decorated for the modest birthday bash which was a great milestone in the life of the eminent statesman and lawmaker. As customary in such occasion, choice foods, wines, cakes, and good music, suitable for the happy event, etc, were available for the pleasure of guests and other invitees.

At exactly 5pm on that day, dignitaries and invited guests began to arrive at the residence of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. The former SGF, resplendent in spotty blue caftan and his characteristic Igbo traditional red cap, was on hand to welcome his guests. Anyim, as expected, grinned from ear to ear with joy, deep elation and palpable fulfillment of a man who has enjoyed tremendous God's Grace in his life. His beautiful and burly fair-skinned wife and soul mate, Chief (Mrs) Nkechi Pius Anyim, also appeared gorgeous and graceful, just as their lovely children, Chibuike, Chisom and Chioma Pius Anyim, a lawyer, like her father.

As the birthday event got set for a formal take-off, Senator Anyim's great friend and former boss, Nigeria's former President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, arrived with his few number of aides to a waiting reception by the Anyims. The former SGF ushered Jonathan to the inner bowel of the expansive living already overtaken by birthday buntings, cakes and decorative items for the occasion. That was after the nation's former number one citizen had acknowledged a mild tumultuous greetings and exchange of warm pleasantries with some of the guests and invitees.

Some other dignitaries who were present include: Senator Micheal Nnachi (Senator representing Ebonyi South), former governors of Edo and Sokoto states, Chief Lucky Igbinedion and Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; Ochendo (Chief) Simeon Okeke (former Chairman, Police Service Commission), Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara (former Speaker of the House of Representatives); Amb. Mathias Okafor (Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Vietnam); Rear Admiral Peter Ebhaleme (rtd); Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (former governor Imo state and ex-deputy speaker of the House of Representative) who came a bit later and Bishop David Abioye (Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (Gossen Parish, Abuja), as well as a businessman, Stanley Uzochukwu, among many other unnamed dignitaries.

Anyim, while explaining the purpose of the celebration, thanked God Almighty for sparing his life up to his 60th birthday. He stated that God has indeed shaped his life and destiny to make him what he became so far in life. Anyim also thanked God, his family and associates for showing him great love, which was why he considered it appropriate to mark his 60th birthday in appreciation to God for his mercy and Grace in his life. Anyim also said he would remain committed, henceforth, to "use the rest of his life in serving humanity in whatever capacities God has destined for him within the socio-economic and political space".

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in his remarks, congratulated Senator Pius Anyim and his wife for turning sixty years and for her birthday. He showered praises and commendations on the celebrant, describing him as "an outstanding statesman and consummate politician". Jonathan told the gathering that as President, he so much enjoyed a very cordial relationship with Anyim who was his SGF. “I have so much confidence in him and I am convinced that he is loyal and committed to the success we recorded during my presidency", Jonathan enthused.

However, Anyim's associates and friends like Chief Luck Igbinedion (the former governor of Edo State) and Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa (a former governor of Sokoto state), also poured their encomiums on Anyim. Both men described Anyim as a "man of integrity, honesty, details; an astute politician, administrator and leader of leaders".

Bafarawa said Anyim is a detribalised Nigerian who built bridges of friendship across the ethnic divide. He equally said that as a lawmaker, Senate President and as an SGF, Anyim remained self-effacing and accommodating. “Despite our different ethnic background, Senator Anyim and I have remained family friends till date, not because of anything, but because of his exceptional leadership qualities. I, therefore, wish you many years ahead,” said Bafarawa.

Anyim's friend and a businessman, Stanley Uzochukwu, however described Anyim as a “great motivator to the younger generation.”

The celebration, merriment and exchange of pleasantries continued as eminent guests began to disperse as dusk rapidly set in. The birthday celebration however continued in Senator Anyim's office somewhere in Abuja. NNL.