By Omoniyi Salaudeen
Since he bowed out of the Senate, Senator Ayo Arise, who represented Ekiti North Senatorial District between 2007 and 2011, has been largely preoccupied with the pursuit of his personal business. This, he does, pari-pasu with his political gadabouts. Though he has been lying low over some period, his recent defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the crisis-ridden Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suggests that he still has something up the sleeve. While he has not disclosed this, he had one time confided in Sunday Sun that he might either take a shot at the governorship position or return to the Senate.
Whichever way it goes, combining business with politicking is surely not a tea party thing. Both adventures require time, money, and energy. In spite of that, Arise won’t just sacrifice leisure for anything. Speaking with Sunday Sun about his routine sport activities for physical fitness, this is what he had to say: “I am a golf fan. That is what I do mostly. Apart from the fact that it is good for physical fitness, it also creates an atmosphere for you to meet people and to socialize. And, of course, I love indoor games too. I play chess when I have partner to play with.” According to Arise, who though argues that Golf has no class barrier, you will need no less than a sacrifice of N10, 000 per day. He said: “On the average, you spend about N10,00 every day. It is also a bit time-consuming. If you are a working class, you must find a way of creating time or you play weekends. On the average, it will take you about three to four hours. It is very time-consuming. It is not a sport for a regular working person. For me, I play early in the morning. I start playing about 6 am and by 10 am, I am at work. Not many people will like to wake up that early, more so that it is not a job that will pay you some money. It takes a passion and discipline for you to wake up that early to play. But it is a good sport. It keeps you fit. It is very good for physical wellbeing.”
In addition to regular fitness exercise, Arise also enjoys listening to jazz music to cool off after the hustling and bustling of the day. His words: “I listen to jazz music. There are about two or three nice spots in Abuja here. I go out there to listen to good music, have a drink and socialize with my friends. They play all these oldies there. I go there once a week. For the local music, I love Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey. But I have preference for Sunny Ade. I also listen to hip hop music and dance when I feel like. One of these artists, Davido, is my son’s friend. I listen to and enjoy his music. Those boys are very creative. They have taken music to a different level. It is just that they belong to the generation of my children.
“But we try to keep up with it. If you fail to catch up, you won’t have anything to dance to if you go out. They are the ones controlling the music waves now. They have done very well.” The distinguished Ekiti-born senator, who turned 60 last October, further relived some of his escapades as a student at Ibadan Polytechnics with a sense of nostalgia. “I was a fantastic dancer. That is why it is easy for me to dance to the new generation music without any hassles. There was this particular club in Ibadan in those days. We used to go there to compete for dance. I still dance very well. Some people can’t reconcile that with my age. But that has been a passion for a very long time.
“I was in Ibadan poly before I went to the US. Luckily, I had a car when I was in school, which was not common in those days. Besides, I was part of the students’ union. So, I was fairly known on campus. But even with all the adventures, I still maintained some level of conservatism on campus. I wasn’t really involved in any serious escapade.
“But I had a very good time. While many of my friends will drink as much as they liked, I couldn’t because I had to take them back to the campus. I was lucky; I didn’t run into any trouble. Till tomorrow, I can’t take more than one or two bottles of star,” he added.