Hon. Babatunde Braimoh is one of the powers that be in the political circle, not only in Lagos but throughout the nation and this is due to his privileged comradeship as an erstwhile member of the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Federal House of Representatives. A renowned member of the Nigeria Bar Association, the high profile politician was in his best form when he spoke to News Editor, Faith Irabor recently. You would enjoy the interview.
A lot of people have been wondering why your sudden low profile lifestyle?
I am still around and still go out when I should, though everything has to be with modesty and moderation. Like you know I am a Lawyer and I`ve been at the bar for over twenty five years now, so I have been around and I am still in politics.
I was going to ask about that aspect too?
Yeah, what people fail to realize is what you just mentioned. I mean people believe I am not relevant politically just because I am not holding any political post. Sometimes circumstances of life dictate that you may have to step aside for others to have their own turns but that is not to say that you are out, even if you’re down. And what I know is once the quest for service is there, it will come to pass, it’s only a matter of time and my own quest have stood the test of time, so I can never be frustrated. This has been part of me from my childhood days.
Let’s talk about growing up?
Yeah growing up was fun, it was exciting and interesting. You won’t believe that I have always love politics from time, I mean as early as my primary school days and I have always been active, it even contributed to my peculiar brilliance because I was always the class captain of my class. When I got to secondary school, my brilliancy dropped because I lost some years in the early ages to some sicknesses so I didn’t finish when I ought to and it affected me. I didn’t even read Primary six, I didn’t even do well in my early stages of secondary school so I lost the leadership though still active in other areas. I lost captainship in my class but not in my hostel, so these things were always there. People look at me for decisions on critical matters at that stage, so it materialized clearly when I got to my HNC class then. I attended the College of Art and Science in the then defunct Oyo state now Osun State. That was when my leadership status was clearly defined, I didn’t run for any election per se. I also attended Ogun State University.
In other words Politics has always been part of you?
Yes, I have been doing it since then and I remember nominating people for various posts including the post of the hostel chairman, I have always prefer to champion while somebody else would be there. I was observing and evaluating issues.
Presently you’re not in active politics, are you coming out in 2015 for any post?
I cannot tell.
Because I don’t want to tell and because I have other focus and I am also a responsible leader in my community and Chief in several communities apart from my Otunba title, I am also a leader in the Mosque in my community.
But I don’t think that should hinder you?
Yes, I am just telling you why I cannot confirm my 2015 political ambition. I am also a father of young kids as well as a husband to a pretty wife, in a nutshell am a very busy man. I am a lawyer, entrepreneur, a father, husband and leader.
What if an appointment comes?
I have not said am not running for election, all am just saying is that, I have other focus and besides it’s not every time that one must occupy a political seat. Okay take for example if an election is coming in 2015, I would start campaigning in 2011 or 2012, then I am not serious. I have things to do, even if I have all the wealth in the world, there must be a purpose to which I must channel the wealth. Besides I have limited wealth, and they are being competed for by a lot of responsibilities. What I will just say is even if I can tell, I will not tell, that’s the truth of the matter.
Okay even if you will not tell and you’re running in the next election, will it be under ACN this time?
Of course! You know I have done that before and I regretted every step I took out of ACN. Because we thought there was no ideology but we now know that Ideology is not about anything that is clearly defined, it may not be in Nigeria`s context, but it is a flock, a togetherness, of same bird fellows and that’s the truth. Most of my mates are in the ACN and when I left and went out of it, I was like a fish out of the water and I knew it and regretted it.
But why did you leave in the first place?
Yeah, I and a whole lot of people left because we felt there were no clear ideology, if you would observe most of the people that came from PDP to ACN had left back too to their natural habitat and hibernation, an example is big names like Atiku Abubakar. We just felt there was no clear ideology and anybody could be anywhere, what matters is your mission and your person but it’s very clear now that you have your soul mates politically. For example they would make you rich in the PDP if that’s your goal but at the same time, they will destroy you immediately you have any issues with them and even worse than when you joined them but in ACN, we are not a party of very rich people, but they will develop you intellectually, physically and in leadership qualities, that you can even rise from the position of Counsellorship to the president if opportunity permits, it’s a kind of capacity building even if there are no immediate returns as someone in a political office. All these are now clear to all of us.
So do you still attend the regular party meetings in your constituency?
Of course, I am a very big leader in my constituency. We have our meetings from time to time I even had to escape from a meeting to be here.
So how do you find time to relax?
Well it’s not easy but we are coping.
What would be your major priority peradventure you are in any political office again?
It would be to give the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people, welfares, live and let live, I want to be rich and I won’t pretend about that, like some people would claim but this is me that have not been in power for about ten years and I don’t think poverty smells around me, I think reasonably, I have demonstrated that I can take care of myself. People that made mistake of evaluating me because they do not know me before I got into power, they’ve had the opportunity of knowing me after I left power. I am still in the lime light, I ride good cars, I live in good houses and I wear good clothes, that’s what I want for every Nigerian. I don’t want to wear tattered clothes, live under the bridge and will not pretend that poverty is sweet, there is nothing good about poverty. The necessity of life must be available to all and sundry.
What to you are the bases of life like you’ve mentioned?
Feeding, Healthcare services, clothing, decent accommodation and of course education, these are the five basics things that must be available to all and sundry, that is my priority.
What is your philosophy about death?
From the earth we came from there we shall return. When my time comes nobody can stop it. I don’t believe anybody can kill me with all that I have seen but I believe that when the time comes even if I don’t go out, if I am to die inside I will die, no person gave me my life, no person can take it except the Almighty Allah and I believe death must come, we only tend to forget. When you see people who are lucky to have been advanced in age forgetting that they would die, but I don’t forget.
The year is running to an end, are there any outlined targets that you still hope to achieve?
The truth is, I don’t outline anything because man proposes and God disposes, when you set goals for yourself, it must be dangerous, I am already hypertensive, I have high blood pressure, I am a patient of hypertension so I don’t work like that. I take things as they come, there is nothing I can outline.
Finally what would you want to be remembered for?
Somebody that came, that lived a life. Living a life is very important, to me when you are alive you must live by example, you must be a model a nd people must be able to watch you and I thank God that by and large I have been able to achieve that. My birthdays are never planned, but people who believe in me celebrate my birthdays including the high and mighty. I feel so humbled and honoured, I thank God that even on earth, I am being remembered.