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What Went Through My Mind The Day I Turned 60

•LAGOS PDP Guber Aspirant, Engr. DEJI DOHERTY’s Birthday Interview


Engr. Deji Doherty is 60. But he does not look it. He is still as bubbly as ever. Apart from his grey beard, there is nothing to show that he is that far gone in age.

To mark his new age, he had a party a few days ago and it was well-attended. This was followed by a City People 60th birthday interview held at his Oregun office in Lagos.

It was during this interview that he announced his intention to run for governorship in Lagos. It was that same day that he picked up his nomination form from the PDP secretariat.

Below are excerpts of his interview.


How did you feel on your 60th birthday?

Being 60 makes you feel sober, you have sober reflection on your past mistakes, victories, successes, failure and you do a re-assessment of your life. And you try as much as possible to plan for the next 10 or 20 years. It also gives you 2 very important things. The first is that spiritually, you subject yourself to God and secondly, you pay more attention to your health.

What went through your mind the day you turned 60?

What went through my mind was like wow, I am 60 years already, I only have 20 years to be 80. My father passed on at the age of 87, does that mean I only have 20 years more? What am I going to do with those 20 years? So, I started thinking immediately after I woke up. How am I going to make an impact in society, on my immediate and extended family? I thought very deeply about my children, the prospect that each one has and how we have made the environment and society friendly for them to succeed like we have done. What are the legacies and fundamentals that we should give back for them to succeed? Those are the things that went through my mind.

How have you been able to achieve all that you set out to achieve at an early age?

I think it is the grace of God. Firstly, I thank God that He gave me good health, a wonderful family, wonderful children, friends and the opportunity to have an impact on the life of people. I have interacted with people like Dangote, Obasanjo, the present Ooni of Ife, former and sitting governors, and presidents, and I have had the opportunity to be blessed with a good partner. So, I have achieved some things that some of my peers have not in their lifetime. I have also fallen short of things that some of my peers have been able to achieve. So, I thank God for what I have achieved so far and where I am. I pray that He continues to increase the wisdom that one needs to propel one’s self to an age where one can say you are fulfilled.

In retrospect, I believe that the APC has failed Nigerians in a lot of ways and I could only give them a pass mark in one or two areas that are not significant. Insecurity, they have failed. In the housing, education, in transport, they have done semi-okay because these were PDP projects. The military, they have not equipped the military enough for them to have the confidence to face Boko Haram.

Not to scare anyone, but we are living on a time bomb. Look at the economy, the country is not safe anymore. When the country is not safe, a business cannot go on, which leads to collapse and then anarchy comes up. We are in one of those stages, which I won’t want to state but definitely, something has to be done fast and PDP is the only party that can sort it out so that we can come back to reality and the pride of the nation will be restored.

Let’s talk about your wife, what has been the secret behind your wonderful marriage?

My wife and I see ourselves as Brother and Sister, not as Husband and Wife. She accepts and supports my journey into politics and she sees I have a passion for it. All she does is pray for me and I believe with the kind of understanding she has, things work out fine. Of course, on my side, I don’t keep any stone unturned as far as my duties as a husband, father and breadwinner is concerned. I also make out time to be with my children and wife. So, she appreciates all this and stands by me.

When you met her several years ago, what was the attraction?

When I met my wife some years back, she was pretty, humble, accomodating, religious, smart and she gave herself to me. That is the most important thing. She accepted me for what I was and I accepted her for what she was. She also accepted that I am the husband and she is the wife. With these, it helps us make collaborations and decisions together but in certain instances, the husband’s decision is superior. So, once a lady accepts this in her mind, I am definitely sure they will live together for years.

You have always been a man of style, how did that develop?

I think my love for dressing was well developed by my grandmother. I stayed with my grandmother for a couple of years, when I was much younger and she was neat, articulate, stylish, beautiful, disciplined and liked everything prim and proper. When my sisters are going out, she dresses them up and puts on their socks and for me, when we got to parties, she made sure I had my handkerchief folded into a pocket square or triangular shape. She even went as far as putting powder on your face to make sure your face is not shiny. So, I think I went through that through kindergarten, and it followed me through primary school. I used to make sure that I ironed my clothes before I went to school, my clothes were always neat and I tried to always be neat in school. When I got to secondary school in CMS Grammar School, Bariga, it was the same thing. Then I took it to the University and it has been a part and parcel of me. Even in my house. I am thankful to my grandmother for taking me through that.

Has age slowed you down from your popular self years back?

To a certain extent, definitely, priorities have changed over the years. Remember those days when any new car comes out, we are the first to get it. But now, it is not really much of a passion, buying houses is more of a passion.

My children are now in their late 20s and early 30s, I am close to being a grandfather which is another area so I think with age, you become more mature. You think about your health, family, liabilities, and responsibilities and you become more accountable to your family and I think that is what has brought me up to where I am now. Apart from that, I have learnt how to be a manager of people and when you are dealing with people in the political realm, you are dealing with all kinds of people, so, you have to humble yourself, listen more, ask for God’s wisdom to take care of major problems and disputes people bring to you. I believe with all these put together, you become more mature, now I have more grey hair than I used to have then so with all these put together, you will definitely grow in spirit and mind and I think that is what has happened.

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