Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, was born on the 19th of February 1961, in Ishiagu, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State. He had his early education in his immediate environment in Ishiagu, then proceeded to the Federal School of Arts and Science Aba, for his Higher School Certificate Programme, and then to Imo State University Okigwe, presently Abia State University, Uturu. Coming from a humble background, Anyim struggled through several difficult times in his educational career; ranging from lack of sponsorship in school which necessitated his trekking several miles to school, his studying from home most of the academic semesters due to lack of means of upkeep in school; his almost dropping out of school in his final year in the university for inability to pay up his school fee.
Sen. Anyim’s experiences has formed him to the man he is today; a man of deep faith in God; a vigorous problem-solver, crisis manager, and consensus builder. He was first elected Senator at age 37 to represent Ebonyi South Senatorial District, on the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) In 1998. He was again elected Senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999. On the 10th of August 2000, Sen. Anyim, at the age of 39 years, was unanimously, elected President of the 4th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As President of the Senate, Senator Anyim inherited a crisis-ridden and factionalised Senate. But with solid support and co-operation of his fellow Senators, he was able to stabilise the Senate, shored up public confidence in the Senate and indeed the National Assembly; and enhanced the integrity and dignity of the legislature as the bastion of democracy. The Senate under the watch of Sen. Anyim was focused, cohesive, confident, and productive. The 4th Senate, a greater part of when Sen. Anyim presided over, passed sixty-five bills and seventy-two resolutions, among which are:
i. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Establishment Act; ii. The Onshore/Offshore Dichotomy Act; iii. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related octanes commission Establishment Act; iv. The Police Service Commission Establishment Act v. The National Examination Council (NECO) Establishment Act; vi. The Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency Establishment Act; vii. The National Roads Maintenance Agency Establishment Act. viii. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Establishment Act.
By the end of Sen. Anyim’s tenure as President of the Senate, the Senate was re-established as a stable and respected institution, a fierce defender of democracy and a catalyst for good governance.
Prior to his election as a Senator, he held several executive positions in the Directorate for Social Mobilisation, with extensive experience in drawing up mobilization programmes, strategies and manuals for the Directorate’s operations. From 1989 through to 1992, he served as the Social Justice Co-ordinator, and later as Legal Adviser to the Directorate for Social Mobilisation (MAMSER) Headquarters, Abuja. In that capacity, he advised the Directorate on numerous matters affecting its operations, represented it in courts and co-ordinated its social justice activity programmes nationwide.
From 1992 through to 1997, Senator Anyim served as Head of Protection Department, National Commission for Refugees at its Headquarters, Abuja. There, he gained broad experience supervising the refugee eligibility process of the Commission. In that capacity, he also liaised with local and international organizations on all matters concerning refugees’ human rights, general protection and the creation of awareness on refugee matters in addition to advising the Chief Executive on the implementation of conventions on refugees.
STATESMANSHIP AND INTERVENTIONS
At the end of his tenure as President of the Senate in June 2003, Sen. Anyim resolved not to seek re-election into the Senate to set an example in statesmanship and to prove that political relevance and service to the people and country are very possible outside political office. Senator Anyim has accordingly remained active in the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a member of the Party’s Board of Trustees, National Caucus and the National Executive Committee. In the recent past, Sen. Anyim served in the Reconciliation Committee of the PDP which helped to rebuild confidence and solidarity among party members, refocus and strengthen the party to actively play its role as the main opposition party in Nigeria.
In 2007 Sen. Anyim launched a vigorous bid for the chairmanship of the PDP. He ran a principled campaign that enjoyed the support and endorsement of the party members across the country and emerged the pre-eminent candidate for the office of National Chairman until the party had to settle for a consensus arrangement that favoured another person. After his PDP Chairmanship bid, Sen Anyim matured into a statesman and a leader of national opinion. He was pivotal to the formation of a group of forty-one eminent Nigerians in 2010, which he led to the National Assembly, that intervened decisively in staving-off the political impasse occasioned by the indisposition of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. That intervention fostered the needed consensus that gave birth to the Doctrine of Necessity, which pulled Nigeria back from the precipice and preserved the unity of the country.
SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION (SGF)
In May 2011, Sen. Anyim was appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, by President Goodluck Jonathan. He became the first non-career civil servant to serve as Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Nigeria. As SGF, Sen. Anyim employed his deep experience in managing inter-governmental affairs and wide contacts in the legislative arm to forge a strong working relationship between the Executive and the Legislature which engendered trust and a rancour-free partnership that delivered good governance and effective service delivery by the government. Sen. Anyim superintended many critical and landmark programmes of the federal government that helped to define the Goodluck Jonathan Administration.
Sen, Anyim has contributed immeasurably to the search for a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria. He was the arrow-head of the Administration’s effort to provide a viable constitutional order that will address the yearning gaps in our social and political landscape. In furtherance of that goal, Sen Anyim superintended the national dialogue that started with the formation of the “Committee on the Review of Outstanding Issues from Recent Constitutional Conferences,” chaired by Justice Alfa Belgore (Rtd). The Justice Belgore Committee was followed by the Sen Femi Okunronmu’s Committee that prepared the framework for the national dialogue. The above efforts ultimately culminated in the 2014 National Conference which he also coordinated.
As SGF, Sen. Anyim chaired the Presidential Committee and co-ordinated all the activities and programmes for the year-long Nigeria Centenary Celebration, including the on-going Centenary Legacy Project, that is, the Centenary City. He also co-ordinated the programmes of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, rallying members of the Federal Executive Council to give meaning and essence to the laudable programmes that stood the Goodluck Jonathan Administration out as a very focused, people-centred and rule of law guided Administration. Under the guidance of President Goodluck Jonathan, Sen Anyim conceived and implemented the Mid-term reporting programme of that Administration. It was a novel effort in democratic accountability and veritable tool in keeping the Administration focused.
At the end of his tenure as SGF, Sen. Anyim returned to his private law practice and farming. He remains a keen advocate for the mobilisation and encouragement of the private sector for Nigeria’s industrialisation and national development. He takes deep interest in issues affecting the youth. He believes the youth must be supported and provided the necessary environment to lead meaningful and productive lives away from crime and antisocial behaviours. To that end, he established a youth mentorship programme under the auspices of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim Service Library Ltd/Gte. The central objective of the Mentorship Programme is to inspire the youth to break barriers to realize their potentials.
Sen. Anyim is at home with ordinary Nigerians whose experiences and daily struggles he easily relates with, being himself, a man of humble beginning and a grateful beneficiary of God’s Grace. This consciousness greatly influenced his founding and establishment of “Chioma Anyim Foundation” in 2008. Through the auspices of the Foundation, Sen. Anyim established Funds for various needs ranging from the categories of educational needs (scholarship fund) and other needs (philanthropic fund) to assist persons in need. The Funds supports business start-ups, housing needs, health needs and the up-keep of the old and the aged. Since its establishment, the Foundation has recorded about 300 beneficiaries per year, from every part of the country.
His humble beginning and struggles through life and education account for his very strong interest in education and empowering of other people. He craves to change the educational system in Nigeria to reflect recent developments in the world of today to prepare the nation, especially the youth, for the 4th industrial revolution.
Recently, after long and matured deliberations with leaders and stakeholders across the country, Sen. Anyim declared that he will seek the nomination of his party, the PDP, to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023. This decision he made in order to be part of our collective effort to promote a responsible tone in our national discourse, at a time of national anomie; and in the hope that, if successful he can offer the nation an agenda of peace, development and progress.
Senator Anyim, 60 years old and a legal practitioner received his Bachelor of Law (LL. B) Honours Degree from Imo State University in 1987. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1989. He thereafter proceeded to the University of Jos where he obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M) in 1996. He is a Christian, married with three children.
Sen. Anyim holds the second-highest national honours in Nigeria – ‘Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger’, (GCON) among many others.