NIGERIA: Obi Studies with Children to Relax

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 A  man like the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, who has for over 35 years remained in active politics, has no choice than to find a unique way to unwind. No doubt, the business of politics is very tedious.

Thus, for him, “Politics takes you away from your family, takes you away from your friends and also takes you away from so many things except you note some of these things down.” But because he understands the game very well, he can always strike a balance between his job and other engagements and of course, 35 years in politics is not 35 days for this former lawmaker.

Among his various ways of unwinding, he prefers to relax with his children, discussing with old friends as the best means of getting his relaxation, even though he has several things that constitute his pastime.

For example, he unwinds by reading, working out and travelling among other engaging activities. As a child, he was captain of a volleyball team where he won the best volleyball player award in 1973. He also likes playing and watching football at his early age but, “presently, I support a team that plays good football,” he says.

One of his precious moments is spending time with his beloved wife, Mrs. Colette Ojirhomu Obi, who passed on sometime in April 14, 2013.

However, why is relaxing with children his favourite? Obi has this to say: “I like relaxing with my children by asking questions about what they do in school, about their relationship with their classmates, schoolmates and their teachers. And that gives me some excitement. It relaxes me, it makes me feel good.”

And when there is an extra time, the Senator said: “I sit down with my friends to make them understand that I am still their good old friend and that nothing has changed because it is important to make sure that your friends don’t go away with the impression that a friend in government is a friend lost.

“So I make myself available for us to do what we used to do when I was just in my little office; to let them know that it is still the same Ben – that Ben has not changed and it gives them extra joy that yes we are happy this friend of ours has not changed – he is still the same person.”

However, as someone who understands the nature of politics well enough, Obi believes that if you know what you are really doing in government, you won’t be too busy. Politics, he notes, takes you away from your family, takes you away from your friends and it also takes you away from so many things except you note some of these things down.

“There is this elderly friend of mine that I have not spoken to for about six months and when I called him, he started praying for me. He said Ben I thought you have forgotten me and I said no Sir. Some of them go out of their way to call me. Two months ago, the former IG who worked closely with my dad, Chief Sunday Adewusi – the Asiwaju – called me and said Ben I have not spoken with you for about three months, hope you are fine?

“Such things gladden you. Most of them are not my mate, they are close associates of my father, some of them worked with my dad and they are like big uncles to me. So, I try to keep in touch with most of them. And sometimes, I go home, spend time with my relations. Sometimes, you have an opportunity of an open Saturday, open Sunday and want to quickly dash home, see the people, talk to them, go to village square, interact with them and you are happy.”

For working out, he said:  “I used to do it very religiously every morning. After my quiet time, I go for it and after that, I go straight to the shower and I get set for the day’s activities but sometime ago, I had fraction and I suspended it but I am back now.”

Obi hails from Awka town in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He was born in Ibadan, Oyo State. His father was a police commissioner and his mother, a nurse and princess from the royal family of Ototoma in Warri South Council Area Delta State.

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