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Meet Jide Sanwo-Olu, the probable incoming governor of Lagos, Nigeria’s most powerful state Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 26, 2021


In hot and brutal P.M.News in Lagos, we used to start our news stories with this line: It is no longer news that Lagos APC and godfather Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu have dumped Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and endorsed Jide Sanwo-olu as the next governor of Lagos. What is news, however, is who the new man is and why he was chosen by the party over the incumbent governor.

That old line still seems to work, especially as developments unravel in Lagos, the world’s most populous black city and Nigeria’s commercial nerve.

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The All Progressives Congress’ direct primary election will take place in two weeks as opposed to the old consensus candidate arrangement where the incumbent governor would have been endorsed and allowed to continue.

But already, news has spread that the current governor of Lagos, Mr Ambode, has been dumped by the party and his opponent has been endorsed.

The endorsement means that Ambode has virtually no chance in securing the party’s ticket when the primary election takes place. Although he is still trying to lobby Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari, those with ears close enough to the ground say the deed is done.

Jide Sanwo-olu would certainly defeat him. But who is this new man?

Jide Sanwo-Olu

So little is known about him, especially about his management style, his core beliefs, his antecedents as a former appointed public servant. 

Many people in Lagos cannot readily recall his name or even his face. But Jide Sanwo-olu has been around for sometime, working quietly and winning the heart of Bola Tinubu.

The former Special Adviser and Commissioner in Lagos under the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola is a Christian with proven intelligence and wealth of experience in Financial Management, local media quoted those with inside knowledge as saying.

He had served as Special Adviser to former Deputy Governor in the state, Femi Pedro on Corporate Affairs and briefly served as Commissioner for Finance after  Wale Edun vacated the office.

He was also Commissioner for Establishment and Training.

That’s almost all we know for now. But as events continue to unfold, we will expand this article.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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