By BERNARD AKOMA
One clear message from religious preachers, which makes convincing reasoning even among unbelievers, is that God created every being for a purpose. The pastor of the church where I worship puts it this way: “if the carpenter makes that chair for a purpose, just for you to sit and relax, is there still any doubt that himself, the carpenter, was equally created for a purpose by God?”
Pigeonholing the man, Anyim Pius Anyim, bearing in mind his life trajectory, into the carpenter position, obviously leaves no one in doubt that the purpose for his own creation is already very visible to every discerning mind. That purpose for his creation was even made manifest very early in his life. The circumstances of Anyim’s birth, for those who know him closely, even the peace, ease, and the pace surrounding his growth, leave no one in doubt about the fact that he does not walk alone. But if the above circumstances are not convincing enough as evidence about the hands of God in his affairs, particularly to naysayers, the successes and unblemished records he had packed around his testimonial in every of his outings, are all glaring proof that it can only be God.
Anyim himself does not take all these strides for granted. He always attributes every move he makes not to his strength but all to the glory of God. Recently, while briefing the South East PDP stakeholders in Enugu about his ambition to vie for the office of the Nigerian president, he said, “my decision is as a result of years of prayers, introspection and consultations with my God.”
A peep into his yet to be published biography, reveals that Anyim is the only surviving male child from his mother. He became the first to graduate from the university in the family and the one to champion the growth of education among his siblings. This, and further developments in his life, can only be described as providence not happenstance.
His election into the Senate both in 1998 under the United Nigeria Congress party, UNCP, and subsequent reelection into the same Senate in 1999 under the People’s Democratic party, PDP, was not also a chance occurrence but appeared to have followed the path of fulfilment of a purpose. If qualifications, political influence, or evidence of financial war chest were to determine who wins the senatorial election in Ebonyi South senatorial then, Anyim’s hands, no matter how big, would never have been acknowledged, when raised for recognition.
Recall that when Anyim ventured into the political scene, he got into the arena as a green horn. He never came with the backing of any godfather. He never stood a chance to be counted among the possible winners of any election in his senatorial zone. This is the zone where the likes of Ogbonnaya Onu, former governor of old Abia State and current minister of Science and Technology, and Ogbonnaya Aja-Nwachuku, former scribe of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and son of the first Nigerian minister of Education, Onyiba Aja Nwachuku, and other political strongmen, already dominated the political space.
Yet, Anyim came, saw and truly conquered, brushing aside, the stiff influence of Aja-Nwachuku ’s son, his major contender in his party primaries, picked the ticket and walked pass Onu, to defeat his opponent in Onu’s Democratic party of Nigeria, DPN and later ANPP, to emerge the senator-elect from Ebonyi South senatorial zone.
As in a fulfilment of prophecy, “When someone is created for a purpose by God, God goes ahead such individual and endows him with strength to withstand challenges of the assignment. That is how Anyim has treaded even where the Angels dare not. At the Senate, where seasoned politicians the likes of late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, Evans Enwerem, among others, held sway, nobody gave Anyim the chance of even being recognised upon raising his hand on the floor of the Senate to make contributions. His youthful age was not any advantage, as Senate is not an arena where youth is considered an asset. At 39 years, his imposing divine-inspired presence was visibly noticed when he emerged the youngest president in the Senate chamber since 2001 till date. The dexterity in which Anyim manoeuvred all the “land mines and banana peels” then on the floor of the Senate has never ceased to engage discussions around his ability, competence, will power and above all, the guidance and purpose of God in every of his steps.
Again, unknown to many, Anyim never set out to gun for the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF). He never lobbied for it nor imagined that he would be there. Providence, again, brought him into the position. He had told those who approached him for the job, “if it’s to be contested, I’m not interested.” Indeed, he could not even claim deep knowledge of the working of the office of the SGF before assuming that position. Perhaps, he could have merely passed as one of the non-career civil servants to occupy that position. But reports of his stewardship in the SGF office have shown otherwise. His tenure as SGF has been attributed with strings of successes and unblemished records, just like his days in the Senate.
This compelling story of excellence in a man’s life ought not be overlooked when next he resurfaces for any assignment. The truth, particularly for those who believe in divinity, is that it will not be completely out of place, to recognise once more, that Anyim is yet again on another purpose-driven mission, as he seeks to be the Nigerian president. The good news then is that, if the same forces which had led him to previous successful outings are once more at play at this particular time, when Nigeria is in dire need of a purpose- driven leadership, Nigerians can be hopeful that there’s indeed a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Anyim has stated clearly in the course of his nationwide consultations, that he has a clear idea of what Nigeria’s key challenges are. And he has assured all that he has a clear knowledge of what the solutions are.
He had equally reminded his audience that providence had in the past, entrusted him with the responsibility to rescue the country. He recalled how he welded the Nigerian Senate, then torn apart by ethnicity, religion, tribe, and laying of mines and banana peels on its floors, into one indivisible entity. Call it a miracle, if you would. But with Anyim in charge, those divisive tendencies suddenly became nonexistent till the end of his tenure, as president of the Senate. The same issues that threatened the unity of the nation when Anyim rescued the country’s young democracy, appear to have reared their ugly heads again. The interpretation is, therefore, if he had done it in the past in the Senate, he could still do it again, but this time in the executive, just as he is being adjudged today the pillar of support for the success of Goodluck Jonathan administration, where he served as the SGF. Anyim has minced no words in conveying this message to Nigerians in every of his outings so far. Repeatedly he has stated, “I am willing and available, ready and equipped, by experience and exposure, temperament and humility, capacity and competence, to lead Nigeria at this point as her president”. Perhaps, this may be yet another opportunity to prove the reason for his birth and still another proof of providence not happenstance in his life.
•Akoma is a public affairs analyst.