By Ralph Christopher
It was encomiums galore for the former Senate President, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, over the weekend, as eminent personalities, including former President Goodluck Jonathan joined him, his family and loved ones to mark his 60th birthday.
The dignitaries extoled his roles in the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria while occupying public offices.
The low-key birthday party, grandiosely held inside the main living room of Anyim’s residence at Asokoro, Abuja, got additional spice, becoming a double celebration of Anyim’s birthday and that of his wife, Chioma, who added another year a day earlier (February 18). The brief event was held in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.Anyim, who thanked God, his family and associates for the show of love, said he considered it appropriate to mark his 60th birthday in appreciation to God for benevolence, noting, however, that “we decided not to make the birthday a big event, in line with Federal Government’s directive on observance COVID-19 protocol.
”He said his commitment going forward was 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.
As a lawyer, Anyim has made a mark in his law practice, served at the highest level of governance in the country’s legislative arm as Senate President and later served in the executive arm, as the Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF) under former President Jonathan.Speaking at the event, Jonathan, who congratulated Anyim for the gift of life to join the league of sexagenarians, described him as “an outstanding statesman and consummate politician.”
Jonathan said he enjoyed a very cordial relationship with Anyim as SGF under his Presidency adding, “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.
”The former governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion and his former counterpart from Sokoto state, Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa, said Anyim personifies the attitude of a detribalised Nigerian, who did not allow his ethno-religious orientation and political leaning to affect his service to the nation, when he held sway as Senator and SGF.
“Despite our different ethnic background, Sen. 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,” Bafarawa said.
The high point of the event was cutting of many cakes brought by Anyim’s loved ones, the biggest of which was cut by Dr. Jonathan, who was joined by other dignitaries and well-wishers in a toss, wishing the celebrants long life, sound health and greater accomplishments.
Other eminent personalities, who graced the birthday, included Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Vietnam, Mathias Okafor; Senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial Zone, Michael Nnachi; former Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke; Rear Admiral Peter Ebhaleme (rtd), who described Anyim as “a man of integrity, honesty, details; an astute politician, administrator and leader of leaders.”
Also at the event were Bishop David Abioye of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (Gosehn, Abuja), and a businessman, Stanley Uzo-Chukwu, who described Anyim as a “great motivator to the younger generation.”