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Meet The 14 Former Governors Of Lagos State



Lagos State is one of the most economically important states in Nigeria. It is a prominent financial center that, if it were a country, would have been one of Africa’s greatest economies. Former Governors Of Lagos State

Lagos has a gross domestic product of $84 billion when compared with Ghana’s $75 billion, Angola’s $70 billion, and Ethiopia’s $93 billion.

The state is also a major cultural, educational, and transportation center for Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite being plagued by congestion and crippling traffic, Lagos State has Nigeria’s highest Human Development Index and various development initiatives.

Lagos was created from the combination of the Colony province and Lagos federal territory on May 27, 1967.

The Office of Governor is in charge of effectively coordinating all government activities in Lagos State.

The current governor is Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He was sworn in as the 15th Governor of Lagos State at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) Lagos Island on Wednesday May 29, 2019.

In this article, we compile a list of 14 men who once served as Lagos State administrators and governors since the state’s creation.


Mobolaji Johnson (1967-1975)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson (9 February 1936 – 30 October 2019) was first appointed by the then Head of State, Aguiyi-Ironsi, as the administrator of the former federal territory of Lagos in 1966.

In May 1967, Lagos State was created and Johnson became the first governor of Lagos. The state was now composed of the old Federal Territory of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lagos Island plus the additions of the Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and Ikeja divisions.


Adekunle Lawal (1975-1977)

Adekunle Shamusideen Lawal (8 February 1934 – 27 November 1980) was appointed Military Governor of Lagos State in July 1975.

He was the Military Governor of Lagos State until 1977, when he was transferred to Imo State to become the governor. He remained in this role until July 1978, when he returned to the Nigerian Navy.

Lawal voluntarily retired as an admiral from the Nigerian Navy in 1979, and he died in November 1980 after an illness.


Ndubuisi Kanu (1977-1978)

In 1977, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Godwin Kanu (3 November 1943 – 13 January 2021) was appointed military governor of Lagos State, a role he held until July 1978. Kanu had previously served as Imo State military governor.

Later, he rose through the ranks to become Rear Admiral and Naval Chief, and he served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.

Unlike many of his former military colleagues, Kanu joined the pro-democracy movement after retiring and played a key role in the campaign for the reinstatement of the annulled presidential election on June 12, 1993.

Kanu died on 13 January 2021 of complications from the COVID-19 virus.


Ebitu Ukiwe (1978-1979)

Navy Comdr. Okoh Ebitu Ukiwe (born 26 October 1940) was appointed by the then head of state, General Olusegun Obasanjo, as military governor of Lagos state in July 1978, holding this post until October 1979.

He was previously the military governor of Niger state in 1977.

Ukiwe later served as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria under the military head of state General Ibrahim Babangida from 1985 to 1986.

In 1986, Commodore Ebitu Okoh Ukiwe, was removed as Chief of General Staff after opposing Babangida’s decision to join the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.


Lateef Jakande (1979-1983)

Lateef Kayode Jakande (July 23, 1929 – February 11, 2021) was a journalist who became governor of Lagos State on the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) platform.

His tenure as governor lasted from 1979 to 1983. Former Governors Of Lagos State

Jakande was later appointed as Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime (1993–98). He died on February 11, 2021, aged 91 years.


Gbolahan Mudashiru (1984-1986)

Air Commodore Gbolahan Mudasiru (18 October 1945 – 23 September 2003) was a Nigerian Air Force officer who was appointed Governor of Lagos State.

He held the office between January 1984 and August 1986 during the military regimes of General Muhammadu Buhari and his successor General Ibrahim Babangida.

As governor, he continued the work of his predecessor Lateef Kayode Jakande in improving schools infrastructure and the standards of teaching. He also introduced improved measures to keep the streets clean and orderly.

He set up committees to review the Lagos Metro line project initiated by Jakande, which recommended going ahead with the project, but it was canceled on the orders of the head of state, General Buhari.

Mudasiru died on September 23, 2003, in London.


Mike Akhigbe (1986-1988)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Okhai Michael Akhigbe (September 29, 1946 – October 28, 2013) served as Military Governor of Lagos State from 1986 to July 1988.

He later served as Chief of Naval Staff, the highest-ranking officer of the Nigerian Navy from 1994 to 1998;

Akhigbe later served as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria (as Chief of General Staff) under military head of state General Abdusalami Abubakar from June 1998 to May 1999, when the military government was terminated and replaced with the Fourth Nigerian Republic.

He died on 28 October 2013 (aged 67) in New York, United States.


Raji Rasaki (1988-1991)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Raji Alagbe Rasaki (born 7 January 1947) was the military governor of Lagos State from July 1988 until January 1992, during General Ibrahim Babangida’s military rule.

Soon after, he began a large demolition campaign of unlawful constructions in order to rid the state of shanties. Lagos was revitalized as a result of that one act, and the real estate market boomed.

It also earned him the moniker “acsion governor” (action governor), which was a jab at the manner he addressed himself.

In 1993, he retired from the military.

Later down the line, he pursued a career as a statesman, speaking at a number of conferences and forums. He joined the Nigerian Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2005.


Michael Otedola (1992-1993)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Sir Michael Agbolade Otedola (16 July 1926 – 5 May 2014) was elected governor of Lagos State from 1992 to 1993 on the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC). He left the office when General Sani Abacha came to power in 1993.

After leaving office, he continued his career as a writer, a consultant holding positions on the boards of various businesses, and a philanthropist.

His son Femi Otedola became the billionaire owner of Nigerian oil giant Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited. The Michael Otedola College of Primary Education was named after him after his demise. Former Governors Of Lagos State

He died on 5 May 2014 at his residence in his home town of Epe, Lagos.


Olagunsoye Oyinlola (1993-1996)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Col. Ọlagunsoye Oyinlọla (Rtd) (born 3 February 1951) was appointed the military administrator of Lagos State from 9 December 1993 till 22 August 1996, during the administration of General Sani Abacha.

He retired with the rank of Brigadier-General in 1999.

Oyinlọla became elected governor of Osun State on May 2003, and was re-elected in 2007. He was a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

On 26 November 2010 a court of appeals nullified his election. He later defected to the APC shortly before the 2014 Osun State governorship election.


Mohammed Marwa (1996-1999)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) was the Military Governor of Lagos State from August 1996 until 1999.

During his administration, he implemented programs including “Operation 250 Roads,” which significantly improved driving conditions.

Marwa became well respected in Lagos because of “Operation Sweep”, a joint police and military venture that helped reduce Lagos’ notorious crime rate

His three-year tenure in the state was accompanied by strategic programmes. The feats were achieved on a strict budget of N14billion.

Marwa, who did not borrow from any bank throughout his tenure, handed over a cash amount of N2billion―the highest amount handed over from one state administration to another.

Bola Tinubu  (1999-2007)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu (born 29 March 1952) was Lagos State Governor from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.

In the run-up to the 1999 elections, he defeated Funsho Williams and Wahab Dosunmu, in the Alliance for Democracy (AD) governorship primary in Lagos State.

In January 1999, he stood for the position of Governor of Lagos State on the AD ticket and was elected governor.

Tinubu was re-elected as governor in April 2003, alongside a new deputy governor, Femi Pedro. In that general elections, the People’s Democratic Party won all of the other states in the South West.

Tinubu is currently a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Babatunde Fashola (2007-2015)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Babatunde Raji Fashola,  (born 28 June 1963) is a lawyer who served two terms as Governor of Lagos State from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015.

Fashola was the chief of staff to his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

On 14 April 2007, Fashola succeeded Tinubu as governor of Lagos State as the candidate of the Action Congress party, currently known as the All Progressives Congress. On April 26, 2011, Fashola was re-elected. Former Governors Of Lagos State

He is the current Federal Minister of Works and Housing.


Akinwunmi Ambode (2015 – 2019)

Former Governors Of Lagos State

Akinwunmi Ambode (born 14 June 1963) served as Governor of Lagos State from 29 May 2015 to 29 May 2019.

Before standing for public office, he worked as a civil servant for 27 years and as a financial consultant.

In April 2015, Ambode ran for Governor of Lagos State as a member of the state’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress.

He narrowly defeated second-place contender Jimi Agbaje of the People Democratic Party by 150,000 votes in the election. On the 29th of May 2015, he took over as governor of Lagos from governor Babatunde Fashola. Former Governors Of Lagos State

In 2019, Ambode lost in the gubernatorial primary election to Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, denying him an opportunity to run for second term. He eventually supported Babajide Sanwo-Olu campaign that brought about smooth transition in the state.