Why My Husband Didn’t Live with Me in the Govt House



Interviewed by Funke Olaode

Is there a secret to this calm and youthful look?
I enjoy inner peace. When you are in Christ, everything is possible. I take each day as it comes. I am conscious of what I eat.

You have been quiet since you left office as deputy governor. What have you been up to lately?
I have a small consultancy firm where I deal with educational issues. Once in a while, I go on speaking engagements. I attend a lot of seminars in and outside the country. I attend development programmes as well because as you age you still have to constantly renew yourself. I still do a lot of reading and writing.

Can we have an insight into who you are?
I am from Badagry in Ojo Division of Lagos State, which gave me the opportunity to serve my people as a politician. I am a teacher by profession. Ironically, going into education was accidental. I never intended to be a teacher. I went to collect a form for a cousin of mine, and from there, my passion was fired and I just said why not try it out. I found out it was my calling especially when it comes to improving the lives of young people.

I studied English Education in the University of Lagos. And by the time I dabbled into politics I found that (both politics and education) are somehow similar in the sense that education is about dealing with people, while politics has to do with people as well. This made it easy for me to blend very well when I decided to go into politics. Also, I come from a family of politicians. My late father, Prince Remi Durosinmi was a progressive politician.

What was your husband’s stance on your going into politics?
He really supported me. He even took it more seriously than I did. He served in the Navy and knowing the family I come from it wasn’t a big deal for him when I was called upon to serve. When the time came there was no way I could run away from it.

You were in the limelight for four years with a retinue of aides. Is there anything you miss outside power?
The retinue of aides was for protocol sake and it is for a certain period of time. I still have my aides but on more humble and quiet side. It is natural for everybody to enjoy the glamour of office. Outside it, you still attract that respect; you still get honour from a lot of people. Remember that life and power are transient and the only thing that is stable and constant is change.

There is a notion about female politicians neglecting the home front once they occupy positions. In your case, how did you balance it?
My husband supported me which made life easy for me while in office. My children were also grown up: My last child was already in the secondary school while the first two were in the university. We had a family meeting to agree on how we are going to balance it. I was in touch with my family all through. I was able to keep my home and was stable in the office as well.

But your husband didn’t live with you in your official residence?
It was not convenient especially when I had to work late into the night. Oftentimes, he came to my official residence and I visited my home regularly. My husband didn’t live with me in the government house because it wasn’t convenient for him.

So your husband was not afraid of losing you to politics?
He knows that nothing can move me or take me away from him.

Did you sometimes handle his food while in office?
Of course, I did. You know men would want to do that husband thing. He would say ‘Please, can you cook that my vegetable for me?’ He loves it so much. And I would cook it because the difference is in his wife’s hand. I did that once in a while, not all the time.

Has Lagos politics seen the last of you?
I will continue like my father did it till he breathed his last. Politics is not something you can quit once you get involved. I will continue to be of service to my people because I come from the riverine rural area that is always marginalised. It is only through political participation that their plight can be addressed and their voice heard.