How To Become A Nigerian Governor At 31

Former Governor Of Lagos State Akinwumi Ambode and Late Mobolaji Johnson

While children of his age were pacing up and down to school, Mobolaji Johnson could not walk — at the age of four — owing to a diarrhoea that nearly snuffed the life out of him.

By 31, he was appointed the military administrator of Lagos, and he subsequently became the first governor of the state.

Johnson, at different points in his life, had close shaves with death in auto-accidents — including the coups and executions that characterised his era in the military.

On Wednesday, he succumbed to the will of his maker at the age of 83, three years after he lost his wife, Funmi, whom he married at 26.

Beyond the drama of the military era, the retired army brigadier-general recorded major feats in infrastructural development as Lagos helmsman, some of which are still visible today.

Born February 9, 1936, in Lagos, Johnson had a troubling childhood as he battled diarrhoea, which kept him aground for the first four years of his life, and which made his mother, Gbemisola, his around-the-clock caregiver.

“As a child, I had a delay in walking on my feet. I could not walk until four years old. In fact, that made me a bit backwards in school,” he told the Vanguard in an interview.

“She said I had bad diarrhoea at the stage when I was about clocking one year old, and it nearly took my life. They eventually ran into people who advised them to go herbal. But I didn’t take the herbal medicine. That was the reason why my mother could not leave to do some other things.

“I was about five years old. I went to Methodist Secondary School Yaba in 1946. Then I went to Warri to continue my education. I did only one year there and my mother said the distance was too much. Then, transportation was by sea.”

He left the Hussey College in Warri and returned to Methodist Boys High School Lagos where he was regarded as a well-rounded sportsman until he graduated in 1957.

As a pupil, Johnson said he would hawk bread for his mother in the morning and groundnut in the afternoon. Yet, that did not stymie his passion for education.

“Even when I was attending school, I was still doing some household work. I wasn’t a spoilt child because I was hawking for her on the streets of Yaba. She was a baker,” he said.

“So, I was helping to sell bread in the morning and in the afternoon, because her sister who was in the North sent her groundnuts. I put them in my tray in the afternoon and helped her in selling them.”

According to him, his father, Joshua Omotola, inspired him to join the army. His father hailed from Abeokuta in Ogun state and was a member of the Royal West African Frontier Force during World War II.

His grandfather’s last name is Osholero, but he changed it to Johnson in honour of the priest who converted him to Christianity.

At 21, Johnson joined the military and proceeded to the officer cadet training school in Ghana. He also attended the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, the United Kingdom between 1960-1961.

“I opted for the military. I saw the photograph of my father who was in the Second World War and rose to the rank of sergeant major class with his belt,” he said.

“I saw his photograph where he was looking so handsome and I looked at that photograph and said, one day, I’m going to put on this uniform too. So, that was the influence I had before going into the military.”

Johnson was, nevertheless, an influential figure in the military during his time. He was privy to the Aburi meeting in Ghana prior to the civil war and was one of the federal delegates at the ceremony to mark the end of that war.

Johnson was appointed as the military administrator of the federal capital territory, Lagos in 1966 by Aguiyi Ironsi, who was the head of state at that time. When it was made a state in 1967, he served as the first governor until July 1975.

Johnson said in an interview he heard about the first coup from Murtala Mohammed after it had happened.

“Well, if you go back to the first coup, which was on January 15, 1966, you find out that I was not part of the coup. But I was in a strategic position to know just a bit of what happened. I didn’t know the minds of the coup plotters, but I knew enough of what was going on,” he said.

“I went to the brigade headquarters, where I was the second in command to Ifeajuna at Apapa. The gate was opened for me and Murtala Muhammed told me what had happened. The minister of finance, Okoti Eboh and the brigade commander could not be seen. So that was how I got to know about it.

“I don’t think the civil war was avoidable.”

After years of working across different military formations in the country, he was compulsorily retired in 1975 by the late Murtala Mohammed during his tenure as head of state. He was said to be one of the two military officers exonerated of corruption charges by the Mohammed regime.

With the likes of Adeniran Ogunsanya, Akin Adesola, Babs Williams, Johnson Agiri and Ganiyu Dawodu in his cabinet, the war veteran started building legacy infrastructural projects in the state.

“The appointment came suddenly upon me as a young man and I had to take it. I took it as a challenge and faced it squarely,” he told Nigerian Tribune.

“Lagos State came into existence as a child of circumstance…It was a modest sum of 10,000 pounds. That was what I used in starting Lagos state.”

His administration was renowned for executing landmark construction work, developing the civil service and putting in place a blueprint for the state. Some of the roads constructed during his administration include the Lagos-Badagry expressway linking Nigeria with neighbouring countries such as Benin, Ghana and Togo; Ito-Ikin bridge linking Epe to Ikorodu and Apapa Oshodi expressway.

After his retirement from the army, Johnson became a director with Julius Berger, and later, he was appointed as chairman of the construction firm 1996 – 2009.

Until his death, the ex-soldier did not regard himself as a rich man.

“It is the people that will talk of the legacy that I left behind in the governance of Lagos. Lagos that I know is the former capital of Nigeria and the centre of excellence. I had done my part. History will adjudge me,” he told The Nation.

He is survived by four children.

Johnson is ”reunited” with Funmi, his wife, who passed away in February, 2016.

Credits: TheCableng

Flee From Copying The Wrong Things, Nentawe Yilwatda Goshwe Declares…..

Kemi Badenoch

Following the appointment of 39-year old Kemi Badenoch mother of two who spent most of her childhood in Lagos. A software and IT engineer, who studied systems engineering at Sussex University and also has a law degree; erudite lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi and Nigeria’s INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Benue state Dr. Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda has this say. In his remark on a Facebook post, he said:

1. Nigeria and Nigerians must learn from this. You can live, contest and be appointed where you are best known 
2. Inclusivity of minorities to contest and be appointed. I can imagine the voting population of Nigerians in UK to deserve this “quota”. Some minorities can never be voted or appointed to certain position because of their voting population.
3. Diversity is the way forward and a lesson for Nigeria

We like copying the wrong things

Dr. Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda

Kemi Badenoch has been the MP for Saffron Walden since 2017 and replaces Nadhim Zawahi who has moved to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch was born in Wimbledon to parents of Nigerian origin. Her childhood was spent in Lagos, Nigeria and the US before she moved back to the UK at the age of 16.

She once told MPs in Parliament about her own experiences of poverty and how she used to do her homework by candlelight.

A software engineer, Ms Badenoch studied systems engineering at Sussex University and also has a law degree. As well as IT, she has worked in the banking sector for Coutts and RBS and is a mother of two.

Tweeting about her appointment, Kemi Badenoch @KemiBadenoch posted on 29 July: ‘Thank you for all good wishes and kind messages of support received. I also look forward to working not just with @Conservatives colleagues but cross-party and grateful for the warm welcome from @TracyBrabin and @Steve ReedMP who no doubt will be keeping me on my toes!’

The minister’s responsibilities include early years policy including inspection and regulation. Her portfolio includes delivery of 30 hours free childcare offer, special educational needs including high needs funding, safeguarding in schools and disadvantaged pupils – including pupil premium and pupil premium plus.

In her 2017 maiden speech as MP, the daughter of a GP and a physiology professor, described the vote for Brexit as “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom”.

Last week, Boris Johnson sacked Damian Hinds and appointed Gavin Williamson to replace him as education secretary.

Mr Johnson’s brother Jo Johnson has been appointed into the Department for Education as universities minister and is also a minister of state in BEIS. Anne Milton, the apprenticeships and skills minister in the DfE quit last week, prior to Mr Johnson taking office as PM. Nick Gibb has been reappointed as schools minister in the DfE.

Brother Lai Held Me From Behind, Can’t I Play with You?

Nigerian writer calls out people condemning Busola Dakolo for speaking out….

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, a Nigerian writer, has lent her voice to the trending molestation scandal as exposed by Busola Dakolo

In a lengthy post, the gender specialist condemned those who are shaming Busola for speaking her truth – The writer asked that women should be respected and treated better in the Nigerian society.

Read Post Below:

Loud Whispers: The Busola Moment

Last week, all hell was let loose when Mrs Busola Dakolo, wife of popular singer Timi Dakolo went public with her allegations that she was raped when she was 17 by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Church. The details she revealed in her interview were shocking and heartbreaking. Predictably, sides were immediately taken and a social media war began, backed up with protests at the COZA churches in Lagos and Abuja. Pastor Fatoyinbo responded to the allegations against him, expressing his intention to seek legal redress for defamation. Shortly after, due to the intense pressure, he stepped aside as the Senior Pastor of COZA. Pastor Biodun will have his day in court, as is his right, the question though is which of the courts? The law courts or the court of public opinion? I am familiar with the politics of public lynchings of successful black men, this is not my concern or intention here. This is much bigger than the allegations levied against one individual. My concern is with contestations in the court of public opinion where both he and Mrs Dakolo are currently being tried.

Following the debates back and forth over the weekend, I observed a rather frightening trend. Over and over, supporters of the Pastor and some who claimed neutrality kept asking why Busola decided to speak up twenty years after the rape took place. Why is she speaking out now? Why did she not say something at the time? I could not believe some of the things people were saying, including those who ought to know better. Busola Dakolo and her husband Timi received unprecedented support for their bravery, the court of public opinion seems to be in their favour. However, I could not help but wonder how we got to where we are, a society blissfully unaware of the war that has been waged consistently on the bodies of women and girls from one generation to the next. Women don’t talk about what happened to them as girls or as adults because of the implications – shame, stigma, punishment, rejection. I am even more appalled at the number of women who have added their voices in the shaming of Busola. If you cannot say anything to support another woman in pain, say nothing. Keep quiet. If you are a fan of the accused Pastor, support him if you want, but you don’t have to call his accuser names.

I have had discussions with several people about the matter, and it struck me that there is so much we still need to educate ourselves about when it comes to sexual violence. First, there is the grim reality that the vast majority of women have one story or the other to tell, and there is no timeline on when a woman is ready to share her story. Second, is the enforcement of a culture of silence even by those who ought to be the ones at the frontlines of seeking justice, mainly parents and guardians. They are the ones who scuttle the efforts of law enforcement officers on the rare occasions such violations are brought to their attention. Third is the practice of ‘grooming’, which usually involves older men luring young women into a false sense of security and taking advantage of their innocence and naivety. And then there is the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ factor, when victims held hostage by their captors develop feelings of trust and empathy for them.

What Busola Dakolo bravely did in sharing her pain with the whole world, warts and all, was create a ‘moment’. By doing this, she has unwittingly opened the floodgates for other women (and men) to find the words to speak their truths.

When I was ten years old, my mother brought a male teenage relative to live with us to help around the house. His name was Sina. He slept on a mattress on the floor with my younger brother, while I was on the bed with one of my young Aunts. One night, before I fell asleep, I felt my bed covers being pulled. I pulled them back up. It happened again and I did the same thing. The third time, I allowed the covers to be pulled off totally to be sure I was not making a mistake. I sat up and asked Sina what he was doing. He said ‘nothing’. I stayed awake for most of the night. First thing in the morning, I went to tell my mother. She did not yell at me. She did not scream and call me a liar. By the time I got back from school, Sina was gone and we never saw him again. We never had any male relatives live with us after that.

When I was in secondary school and home for the holidays, I was around thirteen at the time, I told my father I wanted to learn how to swim. There was this young man who lived next door, he used to run errands for my father, we called him Brother Lai. My father asked Brother Lai to take me and my Aunt to Airport Hotel, Ikeja, to teach us how to swim. My first swimming lesson was my last. Brother Lai held me from behind, teaching me how to kick my feet under the water, while at the same time pressing himself against me and touching me inappropriately. When I asked him why he was doing that, he asked, ‘Can’t I play with you’? The next day, when he came around for us to go for the next lesson, I refused. I never told my parents what happened, I just mumbled something about not liking water. I was afraid of causing trouble. I did not want Brother Lai to be sent away on my account, the same way Sina was frog marched to the motor park by my mother. I did not want my parents to think I was in some way encouraging these men to be inappropriate towards me. So, I said nothing, and just stayed out of Brother Lai’s way. Brother Lai had never given any indication that he was anything other than a respected older brother figure. I was however literally placed in his hands and he saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. That is what predators do, they wait for opportunities to present themselves and then they abuse trust and innocence.

With hindsight, I shudder at the naivety of my trusting parents. I however learnt to appreciate my mother’s response to my claims, it could have gone differently. What if my mother had not believed me? What if Brother Lai had come into our house and I had let him in, and he had proceeded to attack me in my own home?

The next time you ask the question what took Busola twenty years? think about all the women in your life and what they could tell you about the scars they have buried very deep. For me, this was the most painful epiphany over the past couple of days – the fact that we seem to have such limited capacity to understand the world women and girls live in when it comes to the issue of sexual violence and predatory behavior. As we go through life and encounter one predator after the other in our primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions and the workplace, we believe that it is normal for men to feel entitled to our bodies, even when we are uninterested. I am fully aware that there are women who are sexual predators too, who have abused little boys and girls and some who throw themselves at men, mostly with transactional sex in mind. Sexual predators should be named and shamed regardless of their gender. Adult women and men who want to engage in consensual sexual relationships are welcome to their privacy, with emphasis on the words adult and consensual. Any adult who has a sexual relationship with a girl under the age of 18 is committing statutory rape, there is not such thing as consensual sex with a minor. This Busola moment presents quite a number of opportunities.

There is the issue of accountability in public spaces towards the protection of women from abuse and in this particular instance it is places of worship. Hopefully, this moment will push leaders in places of worship, churches and mosques alike, to take this issue seriously. From a purely business perspective (since this is the model many churches use) scandals are bad for the bottom line, so any establishment that wants to be a going concern has to invest in policies and processes to ensure sustainability. The same principle applies to all places of work and interaction, every institution should have a policy on sexual harassment and abuse. There is also an opportunity to revisit current laws and policies, frontline services for survivors and ongoing advocacy for a change in attitudes and behaviour. This is a moment where our rape and sexual violence statistics as a country have skyrocketed, leaving an endless trail of broken bodies and spirits.

A culture of misogyny has crept up on us on so many fronts and now disrespect and even hatred for women has become normalized. As I paused for a few minutes while I was writing this, I came across news of a serving Senator caught on camera beating up a woman in public. A video is circulating of four robbery suspects who were caught somewhere and only the three females were stripped naked. Shame on all the enablers of sexual violence in high and low places. Shame on those who always find excuses for serial sexual predators.

Shame on those who refuse to protect the innocent. Shame on those who silence the ones in our midst who live with their pain and suffering every day. Shame on the ignorant and the obtuse who speak faster than they can think. I stand with those with the courage to speak their truth at last. It is their story to tell on their own terms. I stand with all those who keep pushing for justice and truth. I stand with Busola Dakolo and the millions of women and girls who have a similar story to tell.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of, an online community for women. She can be reached at

Better Padi: (Borrow Interest -Free Loans) at Carbon (Paylater)

Do you remember the first time you ever chopped awoof?

For me, it was when I won best dancer at my greatest rival’s 8th birthday party.

Imagine – this nonsense Chidi boy used one mark to pass me in English exam. The way I danced at that his house ehn, you would think that the prize was more than Spiderman lunch pack and flask. 

Anyway, since then – any time I hear anything like awoof, my ear automatically stands.

That’s why when I heard of Carbon’s latest special offer, I ran here to come and give you the gist, because the thing has burst my brain finish. 🤯 

Make sure you are sitting down when you read this thing o – because if you fall and break head from shock, don’t come and blame me.
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Small conditions dey sha:Apply for your loan on Carbon hereThe loan must be repaid on time – ie on/before the agreed due date. If payment is late, interest will be charged.Only applies to first-time borrowers – that means even if you were previously unsuccessful with an application, you can still enjoy the interest-free loans next week.Share this information with a friend 
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Have a wonderful weekend!

From Henry with Love!