Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan yesterday doused rife speculations that he may have quit partisan politics, saying he was not done yet with politics.
He was also categorical that he is still a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, although he declined to state if he would participate in elective contest in the future.
Jonathan made this known at the unveiling of “My Life and Nigerian Politics” a memoir written by former Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja where the former minister of works announced his retirement from partisan politics with immediate effect.
Speaking about his political direction, Jonathan said though he had been absent at PDP meetings since he left office, he was firmly a member of the party.
“I have not retired from politics. I know that since I left office I have not been at meetings of the party but I am still a committed PDP member,” he declared.
He praised Anenih for his role in the nation’s political history describing him as a patriotic Nigerian who was always interested in the unity of Nigeria.
“Anenih works hard to ensure that what he believes in succeeds. He does not emphasize North, South divide,” the former president said.
In his short speech where his retirement from politics was announced, Anenih said, “I am persuaded that I have no more ambition nor any point to prove in politics. I am, therefore, glad to declare that, from today, I shall be withdrawing from active partisan politics. I shall, however, continue to avail the country of my experience, give suggestions and offer advice, as a statesman.”
He paid special tribute to God and some Nigerians for their assistance to him in different degrees.
“My gratitude is, first and foremost, to Almighty God who has been my strength, inspiration and protector in the more than 8 decades that I have lived on this planet.
If I were to be a dramatic person, which I am not, I would have burst into one or more of the praise songs, ringing in my head. I would have sung, “WHAT SHALL I RENDER TO YOU O LORD…” or “ I HAVE A REASON TO PRAISE THE LORD…” or “YOU ARE GREAT..”
It is to God, our great father, our good shepherd and our wise King that I owe my wonderful, eventful and successful journey in life. I thank Him, I praise Him, I worship Him, I give Him all the glory and adoration that are due to His great and mighty name!
“I have written this book to provide lessons and encouragement for this and future generations. I am hopeful that the lessons of fortitude, hard work, diligence, loyalty and service, which have been manifest in my life, would give encouragement to all those who are serving as well as those who aspire to serve our great fatherland.
“My cardinal focus and objective have always been to be an agent of positive development, unity and brotherhood in Nigeria.
“In the course of my political career, I have interacted with all manner of people and institutions. I have seen people at their best and at their worst. I have worked with reliable people as well as fickle people, I have experienced undiluted loyalty and disloyalty from unexpected places. I have always tried to make the best of all situations.
I can, therefore, say, with great pride, that I feel fulfilled in politics.”
The event which was preceded by a thanksgiving at the Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Abuja was attended by prominent Nigerians including former head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, two former Vice Presidents, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and Namadi Sambo, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and Gen. Theophilus Danjuma who was represented by Prof. Jerry Gana. It was chaired by Gen Abubakar.
Also eulogizing the former minister of Works, former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar said Anenih’s life story was that of service to the country and humanity.
He described him as a model, recalling several national positions Anenih held both as a policeman and politician.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in a goodwill message read by the Master of Ceremony, equally paid glowing tribute to Anenih’s socio-political life, praying God to grant him more years to continue to work for the country.