Former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State was perhaps the most popular governor in Nigeria during his time and today Abiyamo brings to you some really interesting things about him. Enjoy!
1-Fashola was born into a very influential family. His great-great-grand father was Alfa Bello Fashola, a rich philanthropist and pal of the Eshugbayi Eleko (Oba of Lagos). When Eshugbayi Eleko was banished from his domain by the colonial masters, he got financial and moral support from Bello Fashola until he regained his post. So if you were thinking that Fashola was born into one poor or ‘humble’ background, Abiyamo tells you sey you don gba foul be that.
2-He was born the year Nigeria became a republic. His date of birth of 28th June, 1963 makes him just 52 years old.
3-Fashola bagged his law degree from the University of Benin, where he finished in 1987. Yes, he is a UNIBEN alumnus. One more reason to be friends with Osho Baba. For his wonderful contributions to the UNIBEN Alumni Association, he has been conferred with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the body.
4- Fashola did his mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in Benin, Bendel State (now Edo State).
5-For 15 years, Fashola had a successful career in private legal practice. He focused on areas like Intellectual Property (Registration of Trademarks), Commercial Law, Mergers, Acquisition, Litigation, Right of Issues, Ownership of Shares, Equity of Corporations, Land Disputes and Chieftaincy Matters.
6-He was the 13th Governor of Lagos State.
7-Fashola served as the Chief of Staff under his predecessor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. While the Chief of Staff, he also doubled as the Honourable Commissioner to the Governor’s Office, making him the first person to hold both offices at the same time.
8-Although Fashola himself is a Muslim from an influential Muslim family, he is an epitome of religious tolerance married to a Christian, Dame Abimbola Emmanuela Fashola. That is very significant especially in a country where some people seem to have lost the keys to their brains because of religion.
9-He is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
10-Fashola is not just a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, he is also the second law graduate from UNIBEN and the first person from the Nigerian Law School graduating set of 1988 to be conferred with the honour. He is also the first Chief of Staff in history to become a SAN. A Notary of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, he was made SAN in August 2004.
11-A die-hard fan of Manchester United FC, he loves playing and watching football. He also has passion for other games such as billiards, snookers, squash and lawn tennis.
12-He is a member of various clubs as per happening guy na…lol! He is a member of the Island Club, Eko Club, Ikoyi Club, Lagos lawn Tennis Club, Eagle Club in Surulere. He is also the Patron of the Lagos Island Club, Ikeja Golf Club, City Club and the Lagos Country Club owing to his position as the Lagos State Governor.
13-His wife, Dame Abimbola Emmanuella Fashola was born on the 6th of April 1965 into the Ojo’badan family of Ibadan, Oyo State. Before resigning in 2006 to support her husband, she had worked at the British Council for 19 years. Her grandfather was the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadan. Her own father, the late Chief Emmanuel Adewinsi Ojo, a lawyer by training and the first African Director of TEXACO Plc, was the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadan.
14-In September 2010, Fashola’s wife was honoured by Pope Benedict XVI with a medal, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest award that can be given to the laity by the Pope. Also called the Cross of Honour, it is awarded for those who in a general way deserve well of the pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice means ‘For Church and Pope’. That explains the Dame in her name.
15-Mrs. Fashola is a trained secretary. For her Diploma in Secretarial Studies, she was at the Lagoon Secretarial College at Adisa Bashua in Surulere and later got her Advanced Computer Certificate from the Computer Department, University of Lagos.
16-Fashola is left-handed.
17-Fashola has four sons.
18-In what can be described as a very hilarious act, a ‘prophet’ threatened Fashola over the closure of Yaba Railway Market or he would pay with his two sons. Naija, the land of undiluted comedy.
19-His father, Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Fashola died in August 2013 at the age of 80 leaving behind eight children –Arinola Fuwa, Olayinka Fashola, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Ademola Fashola, Omolara Fashola, Adewale Fashola, Ademola Fashola Jnr and Ademola Keji Fashola.
20-In February 2014, Fashola signed into law two bills prohibiting smoking in public places as part of commitment to public safety and health. Wait for this: Fashola himself smokes. Yes, he puffs.