2023 Guber Elections: Profile of Lagos Governorship Candidates

e race to become the governor of Nigeria’s commercial hub in the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Lagos State reaches a crescendo on the 18th of March, 2023.

Sixteen candidates are vying for the government seat in Alausa, and one of them, the incumbent governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, is vying to retain it for his second term.

Below are some of the things you need to know about the four top contenders, including the incumbent governor.

Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (45) (PDP)

Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran popularly known as Jandor is the Lagos State Gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.

Jandor attended the Polytechnic Ibadan. He’s also an alumnus of Modul University, Vienna; the Prestigious Howard University School of Business, Washington DC, USA; and Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate in the field of leadership and governance by the South American University in Lagos, Nigeria, in the year 2021.

Work Experience
A journalist for up to two decades, Jandor is the CEO of Core Media Services, the parent company of CoreTvNews, a 24-hour national digital terrestrial network.

He is also the chairman of Datanet Project Services and Floral Consult.

He is also the head of the Jandor Foundation, a non-profit organization in Lagos State.

Political Career
Jandor is the lead visioner of Lagos4Lagos, a movement whose aim is to make Lagos “work for everyone and not just a privileged few.”

In 2022, he won the PDP gubernatorial ticket after decamping from the ruling APC in 2021.

Jandor is married to Maryam Olajide Adediran.

Running Mate
Jandor’s running mate is Nollywood actress and filmmaker, Funke Akindele.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (40) (LP)

An architect by training, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is the Labour Party candidate for the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Lagos State.

Rhodes-Vivour bagged a degree in Architecture at Nottingham University before going for his master’s at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston.

Rhodes-Vivour was awarded a distinction by a reputable institution for his master’s degree thesis, “Traditional revolution: formalizing the informal: a proposal for the “periphery urbanite” Lagos, Abuja & Port-Harcourt.” The research focused on building a network of recycling facilities and garbage collectors in the aforementioned municipalities to turn waste into an important source of revenue and employment.

He holds another master’s degree in research and public policy from the University of Lagos.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour worked with Franklin Ellis Architects when he was in the United Kingdom.

In Nigeria, he worked with SISA, Cliff Consulting now called Building Partnership CCP and Patrick Wayi, before going into politics.

He founded Spatial Tectonics and serves on the boards of Alhuda Construction Nigeria and Delta International Commercial City Ltd.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is the convener of Nigerians Against GMOs(NAG), an organization that advocates against the authorization or introduction of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) in Nigeria.

Political Career
In 2017, Rhodes-Vivour ran for the Ikeja Local Government Area chairmanship under the KOWA party.

Rhodes-Vivour contested for the senate seat to represent Lagos west under the PDP in 2019.

He won the Labour Party gubernatorial primaries in 2022.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is married to Dr Ify Rhodes-Vivour (nĂ©e Aniebo), a molecular geneticist by profession.

Running Mate
Rhodes-Vivour’s running mate is Former Lagos East Senatorial Candidate in Lagos, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (57) (APC)

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu assumed Office as the 15th Governor of Lagos State on 29th May 2019. Sanwo-Olu is seeking a second-term reelection bid under the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Babajide Sanwo-Olu earned a bachelor’s degree in Surveying & Geo-Informatics and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos. He’s an alumnus of the London Business School, The Lagos Business School, the Institute of Management Development and the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Work Experience
Between 1994 and 1997, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was the treasurer at the erstwhile Lead Merchant Bank. He then moved on to be the head of the foreign money market at the United Bank for Africa.

At First Inland Bank, Plc (now First City Monument Bank) he was the deputy general manager and divisional head.

Sanwo-Olu was also the one-time chairman of Baywatch Group Limited and First Class Group Limited. He is a former Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC).

Political Career
Babajide Sanwo-Olu was the Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to Femi Pedro, the former deputy governor of Lagos State.

He was the acting Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget until 2007 before he moved on to his appointment as the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry by then Governor, Bola Tinubu.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions by Governor Babatunde Fashola after the General Elections of 2007.

He defeated incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2018 to clinch the All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial ticket.

Running Mate
His running mate is the incumbent deputy and former Lagos commissioner for Science and Technology, Kadri Obafemi Hamzat 

Babajide Sanwo-Olu is married to a Medical practitioner and former Chief Medical Director in Lagos, Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Funso Doherty (54) (ADC)

Funso Doherty is running for governor of Lagos State on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Educational Background
Funso holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard University and a B. Sc. in Accounting from the University of Lagos.

Funso recently completed his tenure as Managing Director / CEO of PAL Pensions.

He previously served as the Pioneer MD/CEO of ARM Pension Managers and MD/CEO of Pensions Alliance Limited (PAL Pensions).

He has also served as Chairman of the Pension Fund Operators Association (PENOP), the umbrella body of licensed Pension Fund Managers and Custodians in Nigeria.

He is a co-founding Trustee of the CFA Society Nigeria and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria(ICAN).

Funso has worked with Goldman Sachs & Company and PNC Advisors in the United States of America and ACA and Arthur Andersen (now KPMG) in Nigeria. He is a charter holder and co-founding Trustee of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Society Nigeria and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Funso is married to Dr Orode DohertynĂ©e Williams, a Pediatrician and public health physician.

Running Mate
Funso Doherty’s running mate is a Lawyer and former ADC Chairperson in Lagos, Mrs Giwa-Amu.

Courtesy> Bellanaija

Opinion: How Opposition Can Take Power In Nigeria- Abraham Kuti

On 29 May 2018, General Ibrahim Babangida gave the golden words on how we can have healthy democracy and how the opposition can gain power. 

1. Two party system
“…It is high time we look once more on the need to build unique two-party structures in the country at this critical period of the electioneering year…”

2. The Importance of Political Parties having distinct Ideologies. 
“…Our political parties since May 29, 1999 have no distinct ideologies with internal squabbles and cross carpeting that is not healthy to our democracy…”

3. Adhering to rules of political game. “…It is indeed worrisome that active politicians are not adhering to the rule of the game of politics…”

4. Unity (Politics devoid of ethnic or religious sentiments).
“…As we celebrate 18 years of democracy in our country, democratic governance has been polarised along divisive ethnic and religious lines…”

Did you know if Atiku had maintained Obi as “vice” he probably would win? Do you remember APC as a party is still a conglomerate of oppositions? It is ACN, CPC, Some members of PDP, APGA and other “mushroom” parties. In addition, Obi left to strengthen the LP, which further weakened the PDP. 

If we must analyze former General IBB’s second point, “Adhering to rules of political game”, this might not necessarily mean a specific rule but any rule that binds a people together. The rotation of power is not constitutional but it can be considered a political rule for now, in my opinion, pending Nigeria overcoming ethnic importance in politics.
Do you remember Tambuwal stepping down and asking his supporters to support Atiku, which Wike insisted was against the “rules”? Atiku gained Tambuwal supporters but lost Wike supporters, which had strengthened him in the north but not the south.

Atiku refused to compromise by taking Wike as “Vice” or asking Iyorchia Ayu to resign based on Wike’s demand and G5 who mainly were Southerners. That further increased sympathy for Wike and we later saw a strong G5 which felt they had less stake in Atiku’s project. On the other hand, Tinubu calculated the best compromise to help him get significant acceptance in the north was a Muslim-Muslim ticket, knowing that the south-west was less concerned about religion, Tinubu’s highest vote margin came from the south-west, his votes from the Northwest were almost neutralized by Atiku votes alone.

The votes of the North added to give him a win. We can go on and on analyzing the words of General IBB and a lot of wisdom will be extracted. General IBB is one of the most intelligent generals, a distinct pragmatist. Remember he was not ousted, he conducted the freest and fairest election as a way to leave power. When he realized his stay as a military leader has long stayed, he conducted an election as a proxy to hand over to another close ally whose stay in government could serve as a better protection than a democratic government which could be toppled by military men who might not be his ally.

Why all this IBB Story, the man that conducted the freest and fairest election can also best tell us how Nigerian democracy can thrive and how the opposition can win power.