• The Platform put together The Lagos Gubernatorial debate on Sunday, January 13, 2019.
  • It featured four governorship aspirants- BabaJide Sanwo-Olu, Jimi Agbaje, Babatunde Gbadamosi and Owolabi Salis
  • We dig into the lives, educational background and portfolios of these candidates.

Meet Lagos state's leading guber candidates - Jide Sanwo-Olu, Jimi Agbaje, Babatunde Gbadamosi and Owolabi Salis.

On Sunday, January 13, 2019, these four governorship aspirants shared their thoughts on how to improve the state in the Lagos Gubernatorial debate held by The Platform. It is a civic discussion initiative of the Covenant Christian Centre.

Following the open dialogue, moderated by British-Nigerian Christian broadcaster, Victor Oladokun, Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa takes a peek into the careers and educational background of Lagos state's leading gubernatorial candidates. 

Babatunde Gbadamosi

We start with the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), who has been crowned the winner of last night's debate by many Twitter users.

Gbadamosi is a real estate mogul, property developer and Chairman of Redbrick Homes International Ltd. He owns Amen Estate, a prestigious property located in Eleko Beach in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos. It is also said to be a favourite location for big Nigerian movie producers like Funke Akindele-Bello, Rita Dominic, and Iyabo Ojo.

He started this property business after leaving London to invest in the country. "I have come to show that one can run a successful business in Nigeria, I am hopeful that others will tread the same path by coming to improve our country," he told Pleasures Magazine in 2017.

Gbadamosi's desire to improve the country first led him into the political arena in 2011. That year, he tried and failed to become governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He had another failed attempt in 2015. 

This is his third attempt. He shares his reasons for wanting to be governor in an interview with The Sun.

In his words, "I am interested in running for the position because I believe I can bring value that the state has never seen before. With my experience as a politician and a successful real estate developer, I can do anything that Lagos requires to be a first world state."

Gbadamosi studied law in Lagos State University from 1986 to 1989, according to his Linkedin account.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

This All Progressives Congress (APC) is considered a front runner due to rumours that he is the preferred candidate of the powers that be in Lagos.

Before politics came calling, Sanwo-Olu was a renown banker who served as Treasurer at former Lead Merchant Bank Plc between 1994 and 1997. He was also Head, Foreign Money market and Deputy General Manager at United Bank for Africa (UBA).

His other roles include being Deputy General Manager, Divisional Head, at First Inland Bank, Plc (now First City Monument Bank) and Chairman of Baywatch Group Limited.

He joined politics in 2003 when then Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro appointed Sanwo-Olu as his Special Adviser on Corporate Matters. He became Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in 2007.

Between 2007 and 2015, Sanwo-Olu was Babatunde Fashola's Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions.

The now 53-year-old governorship candidate holds a B.Sc and MBA in Surveying from the University of Lagos. Sanwo-Olu also attended the Kennedy School of Government, USA; the London Business School and the Lagos Business School (LBS).

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Jimi Agbaje

This People's Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant is a Nigerian pharmacist.

Born Olujimi Kolawole Agbaje, he started his own company, JAYKAY Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company Limited in 1982. During this period, he held various professional positions. They include the National Secretary Nigerian Association of General Practice (1987–1990), Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (1994–1997) and Chairman of the 1994 National Conference Planning committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.

He was the Managing Director of his company until 2005 when he joined politics. Agbaje's first political party was the Action Congress (AC). He left this for Democratic People's Alliance (DPA), where he tried to become Lagos state governor with what is believed to have been a really great campaign in 2007.

He lost to Babatunde Raji Fashola of AC. He left DPA in 2011 for PDP. Agbaje secured PDP's ticket to run for the third consecutive time for the office of governor of Lagos state in October 2018.

The three-time governorship candidate studied at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

Owolabi Salis

Salis is the Lagos State Alliance for Democracy governorship candidate. He is also a chartered accountant, a practising lawyer and a jurist doctor of New York. Salis first ran for governorship on the platform of PDP in 2007.

He holds a B.SC.in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria and M.Sc., in Accounting, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Salis also studied Law in University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is a Barrister at Law (B.L.,) Council of Legal Education, Nigeria, FCA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, CIBN (Fellow graded), ANIPR, Associate, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, CPA, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), New York State Bar 2002 and USA National Association of Security Dealers (NASD) Now FINRA.

Attorney Salis has over 30 years of practice of Law, Accounting, Finance and General Consulting.