Lagos lawyer and politician, Otunba Tunde Braimoh, clocked 52 on Sunday, September 30, 2012 – and as usual, there was a classy party to mark it at Spoonfeeders, an eatery sited in Gbagada, Lagos and owned by him. YES International!’s AZUH ARINZE was there for the birthday celebration and also to ask the former chairman of Kosofe Local Government Area and Action Congress of Nigeria chieftain a few questions. Excerpts…
You just celebrated your 52nd birthday, how does it feel to be 52?
The same way. I thank God I’m not even feeling it. God has been very kind in terms of health and peace of mind, so I don’t feel it.
What is going to change about you now that you are 52?
I want to reduce the level of my social activities, because I’m being very watchful and careful. I want to cut down on my social activities. Because when you go to parties, one thing leads to another and it leads to consumption of alcohol and all sort of things. So, really, I want to reduce that.
What is the greatest thing that God has done for you at 52?
A – God has been kind to me. The greatest thing God has done for me is peace of mind and contentment. I owe nobody. Although I’m not a fantastically rich man, I thank God for His blessings, because I’m okay in my own way. I can pay my bills and God has been very kind to me to live a decent and peaceful life. I cherish my peace a lot and also I cherish the family which God has bestowed me with. I thank God for my wife. She’s been very dedicated and loyal and supportive. Particularly, I thank God for my children. They came late, but they have made up for the late arrival. They are a source of joy and inspiration to me all the time and they are doing very well health-wise, education – wise and they have not troubled me in any way. I thank God for my few friends. They‘ve been with me through the rough and rosy times; they’ve been with me through the tick, through the thin. They’ve been with me even in terms of prosperity and adversities.
What hasn’t God done for you at 52?
What I wanted God to do was to have some things in my kitty that can make me to say, well, tomorrow is secured. But God has shown me that tomorrow is not yours. Tomorrow is for God; yesterday is junior to me, today is my equal, tomorrow is my senior! God has not made me a senior to tomorrow. Even those people who are rich, who believe they have secured tomorrow in terms of wealth. If you have wealth, what of health; if you have health, what of peace; if you have peace, what of liberty; you cannot have everything. God has done what He’s supposed to do. So, what I just want are mere human ambitions. Because while I’m still alive, I’m still ambitious. I’m still aspiring for one or two things, which God has not done. If it pleases God, if God knows that those things are beneficial to me, He will still grant them. But where He does not grant them, I still thank God and I want to Him to continue to be kind to me. Truly, He’s been kind to me.
You’ve left office for so many years now, what have you been doing and how have you been keeping yourself engaged?
I’ve been keeping myself engaged with diverse business interests. I’m into hospitality business, I’m into building and construction and I’m a lawyer, first and foremost. That’s very paramount. I still go to court for very important matters. I still have my chambers where I practice law. That is that, and I still do politics…
What has been happening to your political career?
My political career has been at an ebb, but then that is not to say that it’s dead. It’s not out, though it’s down. But people should not write me off politically yet. I’m still alive and kicking. I’m still very ambitious to take up the mantle of leadership at some levels in this country and we still have what it takes to do that. But that depends on the endorsement of God and the will of the people. I’m still available for service, I’m still trying to reposition and realign myself so that I can be at the right place at the right time, because that’s what politicking in this area is all about.
How does it feel to be out of politics and power for a long time?
Power is good, but I don’t feel anyhow. I’m a self confident person, so that has helped me a lot. I don’t think I really need power to survive. But of course, power makes it easier for you to touch more lives. Power makes it easier too to deliver on the goals and aspirations that you have. Apart from that, if it’s for my own personal self, I don’t need any power to be who I am.