Remi Adiukwu is a successful businesswoman and a seasoned politician. She has also been very vocal on issues of human rights. Very warm and accommodating, she spoke with Sunday Sun about life generally and of course she voiced her misgivings about the just-concluded US presidential election.
As a female politician, what’s your perception about the result of the US presidential election?
The US presidential election has come and gone. Americans have decided. I wish them whatever they wish themselves. Hillary Clinton did her best. She campaigned hard and the rest is history. I feel bad as a woman that she did not win but I guess life has to move on.
As a businesswoman too, how are you coping with the recession?
The recession? It’s a matter of cutting one’s coat according to one’s cloth. Our priorities should be re-evaluated.
I noticed that you no longer bear Remi Adiukwu Bakare. Can you elaborate?
I’m Remi Adiukwu, I have dropped Bakare. We have just separated, we are divorced. I now use the name of my first husband. It was when he died that I married Bakare.
You clocked 60 recently but believe me, you don’t look it at all. What’s the secret?
It’s just the grace of God and the fact that one keeps to some fitness routine plus you don’t do what you shouldn’t do. I sleep well and believe ultimately and solely in God. You don’t push for things that you cannot get. Once you believe in God you know that God will do it.
What has life taught you?
Life has taught me to do unto others what I want them to do unto me. That is what I believe in. It’s my credo. With that guiding me, I tend to be able to comport myself. Life is transient so, do what you want to do now, postpone not what you can do today. Do unto others what you want them to do to you and make sure you smile every day, no matter what people are throwing at you.
Are you still active in politics?
Yes, very much.
Are you still in PDP, most members have joined APC?
Yes and I don’t intend to leave. I have chosen to remain and help to re-build the party, and see what we can do in 2019.
Where is your favourite holiday spot?
I’m usually in London, because most of my grandchildren are in London and other parts of the UK, so I go to London most of the time. But if it has to be just me alone, I go to Dubai.
Do you have any regrets in life?
Oh yes, everybody should have one or two regrets in life. When you don’t think deep, you keep saying you don’t have any regrets. Of course, there are things that you could have done differently. There are regrets here and there but thanks to God that they are not things that have impacted negatively on my life but of course there are some regrets.
You are very stylish. Could you tell us things that you cannot wear?
I can’t wear anything that exposes any part of my body; dresses that expose my body indecently, I wont wear them. If they are too short, I wont wear them.
You left Lagos for Abuja, how often do you visit Lagos now?
I’m always in Lagos for politics. I was in Lagos last week for PDP ward congress. I’m supposed to be in Lagos as we are speaking but I was told to stay back to collect our election materials for Lagos State for the rescheduled ward congress. I’m always in Lagos for political meetings and other activities.
You are married to Adiukwu, do you speak Ibo?
I do. I speak a bit of Ibo. I was married to my husband for 25 years and if he was alive, we could have been married for 40 years this year.
What do you miss about your late husband?
A whole lot. Let’s not talk about it. I have not gone over it yet, so let’s not talk about it. I miss everything about him and I have been able to build a house in the village (Mbaise). Everyone in the village attended my children’s wedding. The knots up was done in London. Mbaise people in London were there and during the IgbaNkwu, the whole village was with me, so I’m fond of that place Mbaise.
When was the most challenging period of your life?
When my husband died. It was the most and still remains the most challenging moment of my life.
Your husband’s death, was it natural or by accident?
He was ill.
You are still very pretty at 60; do you have any beauty routine?
I used to exercise but these days it’s a bit difficult. I’m so busy with my grandchildren. I go to visit them in South Africa, in London and Scotland. So, I don’t really have time to pamper myself again but I want to start all over again.
The way you look, do you go for Omugwo at all?
Yes I do. I babysat my six grandchildren. I did omugwo for them.
When was the happiest moment of your life?
I have had several moments of happiness. The day I finished school, the day I got married. The day I had my first child, my first daughter and so on. The day I got a job in the bank. So many happy moments, I can’t remember them all.
As a politician, what would you say you like most about politics?
The fact that you mix with people from different parts of the country. As a politician, the fact that you go to the north, south, east and west to meet with people is the most interesting aspect of politics as far as I am concerned.
What would you say you don’t like as a politician?
The fact that gender is a big issue in Nigerian politics, particularly with our men. Even with our female politicians too, gender is still an issue.