Muiz Banire is the national legal adviser of All Progressives Congress (APC). The astute lawyer cum politician turned 48 recently. In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the Mushin guy barred it all on why it’s very safe to live in Mushin, rubbishing the contrary perception of the area and more…
I feel great and I thank God. It’s a privilege from God.
Do you feel your new age?
Not at all.
Are there things you were doing before that you can no longer do because of your new age?
I don’t know. I still do most of the things that I have been doing for sometime now except playing football, which I have stopped for sometime now.
What would you say you are grateful to God for turning 48?
For everything, starting from the gift of life to all the positive and negative things that have happened to me.
What is growing up like for you?
Interesting. I grew up in an area where there was extreme freedom, liberty all over the place and interactions. That is the area we called boarder without boundary. Virtually all houses lacked perimeter fence so you can move from to the other, it was really interesting.
How was it for people like you growing up in a place like Mushin where most people feel anything good cannot come out of the place?
The good thing about the place is that, it is a very much secured area than most areas in this state because people tend to be their brother’s keepers in that area than elsewhere. So, it is an area that I cherish and appreciate a lot.
Growing up around such a place what would you say informed your studying law?
Of course, from the time I was able to think straight I had always had the ambition of becoming a lawyer and somehow God decided to consent to it. Interestingly, what I will say influenced my decision therein was Late Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Fatai Williams. I used to like that appellation ‘Chief Justice’ to the extent that I used to prefix my name with it when I was in primary school. So, that probably influenced me largely.
What would you say you like about being a lawyer?
That is one the greatest things that have ever happened to me at least I know my limitations. Once you know your limitations you will be at peace with yourself. Also defending other people’s courses is something that gladdens my heart equally.
What is it you don’t like about being a lawyer?
Structural problems in the administration of justice particularly, the delay.
What will you say is the greatest thing that the profession of law has done for you?
At least at the barest minimum I will say that I still get my earnings from it and through that earnings I pay my bills. I am also extremely excited about the profession for being a minister in the temple of justice.
What would you say are the ingredients of a being successful lawyer?
Our profession is a very envious one. You need to be very hard working. There is no short cut to success in law practice. You have to be on top of your brief always, research always, read always, have strong analytical mind, good presentation and be very articulate.
As a lawyer, in what way did your way and that of partisan politics cross?
In school, I was involved in politics at various levels and of course when I left school I always believed that you cannot be complaining about the system from outside the box. You have to be within the box to be able to effect any correction in the system. That influenced my decision to be a participant.
What would you say you like about politics?
Appreciation of people’s need, concerns and worries. One thing I enjoy most in politics is the fact that you interact with virtually all levels of human beings and be able to see their thoughts and their perceptions of issues and where the shoe is pinching them.
What would you say you don’t like about politics?
Dishonesty and unreliability are the things I detest most in politics. That someone will give you his words and you will not meet it like that is annoying.
What will you say is the greatest thing that politics has done for you?
Exposure to various vicissitudes of life.
You have achieved a lot in your 48 years of existence. You have Ph.D in Law and an ultra modern law chamber. You have been a commissioner in Lagos State for 12 years and now the legal adviser to All Progressives Congress (APC). Are there things you still want God to do for you either in politics or the law profession?
Honestly, what I do is to praise and thank God always for every single thing. There is nothing I want God to do for me other than to guide me aright, elongate my life, make all my children greater than myself and most important to continue to make me have conviction in His ways. The only thing I struggle for now is improved faith in God. That is the only asset that I want to acquire more and more. That is more important than all other things. All other things are material, they will finish one day.
What lessons would you say you have learnt in your 48 years of existence?
That it is only God that is a reliable partner. That is the only person that cannot betray you anytime once you are with him.
Have you been betrayed by any human being before?
Ha, ha, ha, in fact, endlessly. But, I have an enlarged shock absorber for it now. Particularly, with politicians.
Why is it taking your party (APC) so long to produce its presidential candidate?
There is a statutory period for the emergence of candidates as provided by INEC, which we have to follow. It is around the corner, everything is being put in place.
There is this feeling among the people that there is no clear distinction between APC and PDP. What is your take on this?
The answer is very simple. You only need to look at our manifesto and compare it with their own. That will answer you clearly.
Can Nigerians really trust the APC that they will be better than PDP?
Generally, we are all human beings and when you are dealing with human beings, it’s a matter of hope. Most times you discover that it is not the policy or the programme that are atimes faulty but operators of those programmes or policies. The only hope is that we eventually get the right people who will be able to implement this policy or programme.