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Friday, 27 November 2015


“Lai Mohammed And I Exchange Banters And Calls”



Chief Olisa Metuh is the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this interview, he speaks about his experience in the Nigerian politics as well as legal profession.

Did you imagine about fifteen years ago that you would be in politics?
I thought I would be a very successful business man and one of Nigeria’s best corporate lawyers. I thought I would be an expert in privatization practice, somebody who will be quoted everywhere, especially on arbitration. I thought in real estate development and practice, people would know me globally. I have fallen short in this aspect. In the aspect of people reading about me, you hear them abusing or say bad things about you. Well, I don’t know it will get here. However, I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to serve my party, to be useful to my friends and make my little contribution to society. If I had to roll time backwards, I would like to go through this experience again. I have enjoyed it. For me, politics is not about winning. I’m in love with the game. I have no regret being in it because I believe in what I have done. I have been able to help people get elected. They have in turn served humanity and made worthy contributions to their people. I share in their success.
How did you make the switch?
I’m an accidental politician. I used to believe politicians were liars and indecent people who didn’t succeed in their chosen profession. I felt politics was an easy path for them to make money or steal from public funds. In the late 90s, people didn’t want to play politics. But young graduates now want to go into it. I discourage them. Politics isn’t a profession. You must have a second address and a means of livelihood in order to play politics. Look at some people in politics, two or three years after the light is out, you won’t like what you see. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo taught us in 2001, you must have a second address to play politics. I’ve had a change of heart because I have seen people in politics who make sacrifices, who use their money to attempt a change. People who have turned remote areas into urban centres. I have met a lot of decent people who play politics in Nigeria.
Who are your role models in politics?
In the past, we all grew up loving the Awolowos and the Ziks. I enjoyed Jim Nwobodo, Solomon Lar in the PDP. I’m impressed with Ghali Na’Abba because of his resilience and defined character. He made the speakership position come alive. I like Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. He created and enhanced the separation of powers. He defended the interest of the legislature. I was impressed by governors like Godswill Akpabio and Prof Sam Egwu, especially what he did in Abakaliki. In the past, people were embarrassed to say they lived there. They simply referred to it as ‘AI’ because it represented something backward. Today, that’s different. It’s the same thing Akpabio did to the psyche of his people. I like people like Emeka Ihedioha who are greatly misunderstood but stand for the truth.
What is your relationship with Lai Mohammed?
He has done well for himself and his political party. He has a passion for his job. I have no problem with him. We’ve exchanged banters and calls. We have driven in the same car several times. We are not enemies. He represents a brand of politics which isn’t very attractive to me.
How do you feel turning 50?
It is a question of numbers. I still think the same. I love the same people, the same kind of things and still have the same friends. Fifty is significant in the sense that it means that at 50, one should be able to have some wisdom to apply in handling the knowledge he’s acquired. It means significantly, people expect you to be more mature. Much more decent and civil in all you do. For me, it means I’m just a year older. I’m still the same person at 50.

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