“Give us Men”, the nineteenth Century Poet, Josiah Gilbert Holland once prayed fervently, “Men from every rank, fresh and free and frank; Men of thought and reading, Men of light and leading, Men of loyal breeding, The Nation’s welfare speeding; Men of faith and not of fiction, Men of lofty aim in action; Give us Men – I say again, Give us Men!”.

There is no doubt that in Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), Lagos State has been endowed by God with an exemplary leader whose noble vision and purposeful mission is inspired by a matchless passion for his beloved state. The unassuming leader of men moves about Lagos quietly without sirens in an amazing demonstration of humility.

Yet from one end of Lagos to the other; in diverse sectors including roads, security, health, education, the environment, housing, job creation and poverty alleviation, there is abundant evidence of democracy dividends being delivered for the benefit of the people. These are the undeniable sirens proclaiming for all to hear the virtues of a visionary Governor.

Born on June 28th, 1963, at the Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos to the Fashola Family of Isale-gangan, Lagos, Babatunde Raji Fashola, also a direct descendant of the Shomade Family of Isale-Eko through his paternal grandmother, as well as a descendant of the Bashua and Suenu Families of Lagos, began his educational career at Sunny-Fields Primary School. Adelabu, Surulere in Lagos. He then proceeded to Birch Freeman High School, Surulere, Eko Boys High School, Mushin and Igbobi College, Yaba, all in Lagos in pursuit of academic laurels for his secondary and post secondary education.

Focused, hardworking and determined right from the youth, Babatunde Fashola made up his mind early in life to study Law. It was this ambition that motivated him to seek and obtain admission into the University of Benin, to study Law.

As a brilliant budding scholar, the young Fashola came out with laurels earning the Bachelor of Laws, L.L.B (Hons) degree in 1987 from the University of Benin, an institution that had set for itself the most rigorous standards of academic excellence.

Mr. Fashola was called to the Bar in November 1988 after a successful one year stint at the Nigerian Law School. His journey towards an accomplished legal career began in 1990 in the law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe and Belgore, where he cut his legal teeth as a litigator over wide-ranging areas of specialization.

In 1993, he voluntarily disengaged from the firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe and Belgore and joined the law firm of K.O. Tinubu & Company as an investing Partner. He was the Managing Partner, Lead Counsel and highest fee earner of the firm from 1994 to August 2002 when he was appointed the Chief of Staff to His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor of Lagos State. He served as Chief of Staff to Governor Tinubu from 16th August, 2002 to 6th November, 2006, when he resigned voluntarily to contest for office as Governor of Lagos State.

Before and during his appointment, he had the privilege to serve the State in various capacities as follows:

Secretary of the Lands Committee of the Transitional Work Groups; 1999
Member of the Panel of Enquiries into Allocation of Houses on the Mobolaji Johnson Scheme at Lekki, 2000
Member of the State Tenders Board; 2002 – 2006
Member of the State Executive Council; 2002 – 2006
Member of the State Security Council; 2002 – 2006
Member of the State Treasury Board; 2002 – 2006
Chairman, Ad-Hoc Committee on the Review of Asset Distribution among Local Governments.

He served on and chaired a number of State Executive Council Committees set up to consider such matters as laws, Governor's consent procedures and costs, state honors and awards to mention but a few.

He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the International Bar Association (IBA) and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He is a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, and has been variously honoured with awards and certificates of merit, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award conferred on him by the University of Benin Alumni Association.

He is also a recipient of the Lagos State Public Service Club Platinum Award for outstanding contribution towards the development of the Club.

Babatunde Fashola is a Patron of the Law Students Association of the University of Benin. He is the second law graduate of the University of Benin and the first member of the Nigerian Law School graduating class of 1988 to be conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Since coming into office, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has distinguished himself as an astute administrator, a thoroughbred technocrat, a prudent manager of public funds, an incisive analyst, a rigorous debater, a dispassionate decision maker and a compassionate, humane officer of the first order.

Little wonder then that more honours have come his way unsolicited. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Grand Patron of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), Lagos State Chapter. He was recently honoured by the Lagos Command of the Nigerian Police for his unparallel support just as he also received the Igbobi College Old Boys Association’s (ICOBA) Professional Award for Excellence in the field of law.

Mr. Fashola is an ardent sportsman who passionately loves playing and watching soccer. He belongs to a number of social clubs, notably Eko Club, Island Club, Ikoyi Club, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club and Eagle Club, Surulere. He is a Patron of the Lagos Island Club, Yoruba Tennis Club and the Lagos Country Club by virtue of his office as Governor of Lagos.

He is married to Mrs. Abimbola Emmanuella Fashola and they are blessed with children.

Morning shows the day, within the first year in office, Ladies and Gentlemen, Governor Fashola was elected The Governor of the Year 2007 according to the LEADERSHIP Newspapers published in the Federal Capital Territory. He was also conferred with the Governor of the Year for Infrastructure Development according to the Board of Editors of THISDAY Newspapers. However this award, Governor Fashola has honourably returned when it became apparent that it was meant to compromise him in the faithful discharge of his duties as Governor and the oath of office to do right by all manner of people according to the law without fear or favour. He is also the Governor of the Year 2007 in the judgement of Global Excellence Magazine.

Surely, a Brighter and Rewarding Future beckons to Lagosians through the tireless exertions of this man of destiny.

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