Senator Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro is 60. He turned 60 a few days back and he granted City People an interview. He was our Guest on our daily City People Live Chat. It was his 60th birthday interview. And he revealed a lot about his life. He told City People Magazine Publisher SEYE KEHINDE matter of factly that turning 60 has changed him fundamentally. Read on.
What have you been up to since the lockdown?
Well, I have been mostly busy indoor reading books and doing different forms of exercises. I have been busy with my trainer and reading for self-improvements.
What are the lessons you’ve learnt from Covid-19?
This is not the time to be making money but giving more. To be honest, it has drained my pockets. You have to reach out to everybody including people you would never have thought would need support from someone like you. Everybody is reaching out for support and to the glory of God, we have been able to reach out to some people, both individuals and institutions.
What have you been doing since your last posting as High Commissioner?
Well, I went back to school, got a degree in History from an Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia. Since I came back, we have been low key and have achieved a lot. I don’t want to beat my drums on live tv but God has been very kind in my business, on a personal level and otherwise. I want to acknowledge the grace of the Almighty. Other than that, we are doing well in the political front, also.
How does having your son as a prominent politician at the federal level make you feel?
All I’m saying is that my success may be attributed to my parents which are my dad and mom. I also can claim success in life having seen my own children accomplish. But you can’t really say that except God grants you that grace and that grace has been granted and I’m happy.
Were you the one that decided that your son should go into politics?
No. I don’t dictate to my kids, I allow them to flow with their skills and interests. There are things that you can not force. Growing up, our parents wanted us to be lawyers, doctors etc and a lot of children were misled because some couldn’t cope with pressure put on them by their parents.
In my own case, my father died very early and my mother wanted me to be educated but being illiterate, she didn’t have a clue on which profession I should follow. So I had the latitude to do whatever I wanted and today, I am happy I chose what I did. In the case of my own children, I refused to impose anything on them. I allowed them to follow whatever interest they have and it has worked very well for me.
I have one who is a Petroleum Engineer, Jide studied Public Administration then my daughter is an Accountant who used to work with the state department as an auditor, but she is working in a private firm in Boston. I have another daughter who is into Theatre Arts at New York University. I have another one who wants to be a criminologist. He is in Pitsburg University, so God has been very kind. I did not dictate. They chose and pursued what they wanted.
I have noticed that over a period of time, you keep looking younger and athletic, what’s the secret behind it, sir?
I really don’t want this network disconnected, otherwise, I would have gone to my basement and shown you my gym so you can see how busy it is, so you can know that that is responsible for my look. My gym is well kitted and I also have a personal trainer that comes around every week. It takes a lot of discipline to get to this level. Imagine going to the gym for 2-3hrs and then you have trainers that take you out of your comfort zone. It is not easy. Trainers will always push you beyond your limits and the results are what you are seeing now. Unfortunately, you don’t see what goes into it.
I am also very particular about my intake. As I speak, I have come up with my own eba. I grind broccoli, bit fruit, cauliflower and I add a bit of celium with is the fibre for fermentation. And that’s my own eba. I hardly take raw garri. I mix garri with it to add flavour. But the bulk of what I eat is vegetables. I also rely on supplements. As you age, digestion becomes an issue so you need some digestive enzymes to help digest your food. So it takes a lot. It’s not just an exercise that gives the result but also some lifestyle changes. And I thank you for noticing that appearance.