POLITICS

5 Politicians Tipped To Succeed Gov. SANWO-OLU

There have been rumours in the Lagos political arena over who will succeed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as Lagos State Governor in 2027. Although, it’s a bit too early but names are popping up each time the topic is discussed.

It’s a known fact that, for anyone to succeed Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, he or she has to be one of the insiders who is part of the system. When the former Governor Babatunde Fashola was picked as Governor, he was with Tinubu as his Chief of Staff. The same thing with Ambode, who was Fashola’s State Accountant General before be was picked as a candidate and later became Lagos State Governor.

The current governor was the General Manager of Lagos State Property Development Company during the governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s tenure. These people were members of the inner cacus of the government. They were in the system for decades. In this report, City People got 5 names that are being rumoured to succeed the current governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu come 2027.

One of them is Hakeem Muri Okunola. His name comes up each time the issue is being discussed. In fact, he’s been tipped as far back as over 10 years ago.

Mr Muri Okunola will remain one of the strong contenders for the no1 seat in Lagos for different reasons. First, he shares a very good bond with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is believed to have the final say as regards the Lagos politics in general. Mr Muri Okunola has been a very humble and loyal party member for a very long time. Let’s tell you more about the man Hakeem Muri Okunola.

When he graduated as a Law student in London, he served with Ibile Holdings as company secretary. That was when Adewusi was the Managing Director, and from there Hakeem served Tinubu in his second term as his personal assistant. Shortly after Tinubu left Lagos State government, Hakeem was appointed Executive Secretary that guarantee good facilitations. He was made Lagos State Head of service and a few months back he was appointed Principal Secretary to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria.

Age wise, he’s relatively young. He’s just 52 and he has a rich family background in Lagos.

Another name that people have also been mentioning is Bode Agoro who has been in the Lagos State Civil Service for almost 24 years. In fact he has been a top civil servant since the Tinubu days as governor. Today, Mr Agoro, has been elevated as the Lagos State Head of service.Mr. Agoro who joined the Lagos State Government as a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Lands), in October 2003, was elevated to head the Directorate of Land Services, Lands Bureau and was later absorbed into the Mainstream Civil Service in 2007 as Director (Administration) and redeployed to Lands Bureau as Director, Land Regularization, a position he held from 2007 to 2015 before his appointment as Permanent Secretary in August 2015. He served as Permanent Secretary Lands Bureau for 8 years till his appointment as the 22nd Head of Service in September, 2024.

He is one of the best brains being considered for the Lagos no1 seat in 2027.

What about the current Chief of Staff? Mr Tayo Akinmade Ayinde, he has also been mentioned as a good replacement of Gov. Sanwo-Olu. Mr Tayo has been part of the government for many decades before now. He was at a time rumoured to be vying for the no1 seat before he was told to step down. He has been a loyal member of the party especially Lagos politics.

Mr. Akinmade Ayinde was appointed as Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu immediately he was elected 5 years ago.

He was appointed on June 6, 2019 and has contributed significantly to the realization of the present administration’s commitment to the Greater Lagos Agenda. As the Chief of Staff and a member of the State Executive Committee, he took an active part in strategic policies that improved the performance of Lagos State Internal Revenue Services amongst other relevant Agencies.

Mr Tayo also shares a strong bond with the leader of the party both nationally and in Lagos who is now the president of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They have been strong allies for a long time.

Mr Tayo had a stint with TELL Magazine. He also joined SSS. While in the SSS. He was Head of the Accounts Department of the State Security Service (SSS) Shangisha Office from 1993 – 1999. He later worked with the former Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Chief Security Detail. These are some of the reasons why his name is among the possible successors of Sanwo-Olu in 2027

Another name is Tokunbo Wahab, alias No-Nonsense. He is the current Commissioner, Environment and Water Resources. He has been doing enormous work in making sure that Lagos is free of flood.  This individual has also been in government for many years but you hardly hear about him, just like other former governors while they were in the Lagos Civil Service. He is also a lawyer but started taking active role in government about 5 years ago.

He served as the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Education between August 2019 and May 2023 during this time, he spearheaded the development and implementation of comprehensive Tertiary Education policies and initiatives aimed at improving the quality of tertiary education in the state, advising the Governor on key educational matters, leveraging on data-driven insights and research to inform decision-making processes.

He is being likened to Fashola in terms of public engagement, conduct and governance. He is being tipped for this juicy position also because of his anticidents and young age. He’s 51 and still very active.

This last name is Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the current Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Recently, the former House of Representatives Speaker launched some laudable projects in Lagos. A lot of people especially political analysts have said he has position himself for the post.

If there’s one person that has a hold on President Tinubu who is also the decider of the next Lagos Governor. He is no other person than Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. He’s a loyal ally of the president. He also has all it takes to be a successful governor.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 representing the Surulere I constituency of Lagos State.He was re-elected and served for six (6) consecutive terms.

After 20 years, he resigned as a member of the House of Representatives on 14 June 2023 to assume office as Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu.

–Isaac Abimbade

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