|12th Governor of Lagos State|
29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007
|Deputy||Kofoworola Bucknor |
|Preceded by||Buba Marwa|
|Succeeded by||Babatunde Fashola|
|Born||29 March 1952|
|Political party||All Progressives Congress|
(2013 to present)
|Social Democratic Party|
Alliance for Democracy
Action Congress of Nigeria
(2006 to 2013)
He attended St. John's Primary School, Aroloya, Lagos and Children's Home School in Ibadan, South West of Nigeria. Tinubu then went to the United States in 1975, where he studied first at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago, Illinois, and then at Chicago State University. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Tinubu worked for the American companies Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Haskins, & Sells, and GTE Services Corporation. After returning to Nigeria in 1983, Bola Tinubu joined Mobil Oil Nigeria, and later became an executive of the company.
Early political career
His political career began in 1992, when he joined the Social Democratic Party where he was a member of the Peoples Front faction led by Shehu Musa Yar'Adua and made up of other politicians such as Umaru Yar'Adua, Atiku Abubakar, Baba Gana Kingibe, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Magaji Abdullahi, Dapo Sarumi and Yomi Edu. He was elected to the Senate, representing the Lagos West constituency in the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic.
After the results of the 12 June 1993 presidential elections were annulled, Tinubu became a founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition, a group which mobilized support for the restoration of democracy and recognition of Moshood Abiola as winner of the 12 June election. Following the seizure of power as military head of state of General Sani Abacha, he went into exile in 1994 and returned to the country in 1998 after the death of the military dictator, which ushered in the transition to the Fourth Nigerian Republic.
In the run-up to the 1999 elections, Bola Tinubu was a protégé of Alliance for Democracy (AD) leaders Abraham Adesanya and Ayo Adebanjo. He went on to win the AD primaries for the Lagos State governorship elections in defeating Funsho Williams and Wahab Dosunmu, a former Minister of Works and Housing. In January 1999, he stood for the position of Governor of Lagos State on the AD ticket and was elected governor.
Governor of Lagos State
When he assumed office in May 1999, Tinubu promised 10,000 housing units for the poor with little achieved. During the eight-year period of his being in office, he made large investments in education in the state and also reduced the number of schools in the state by returning many schools to the already settled former owners. He also initiated new road construction, required to meet the needs of the fast-growing population of the state.
Tinubu, alongside a new deputy governor, Femi Pedro, won re-election into office as governor in April 2003. All other states in the South West fell to the People's Democratic Party in those elections. He was involved in a struggle with the Olusegun Obasanjo-controlled federal government over whether Lagos State had the right to create new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to meet the needs of its large population. The controversy led to the federal government seizing funds meant for local councils in the state. During the latter part of his term in office, he was engaged in continuous clashes with PDP powers such as Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former Lagos State senator who had become minister of works, and Bode George, the southwest chairman of the PDP.
Relations between Tinubu and deputy governor Femi Pedro became increasingly tense after Pedro declared his intention to run for the gubernatorial elections. Pedro competed to become the AC candidate for governor in the 2007 elections, but withdrew his name on the eve of the party nomination. He defected to the Labour Party while still keeping his position as deputy governor. Tinubu's tenure as Lagos State Governor ended on 29 May 2007, when his successor Babatunde Fashola of the Action Congress took office.
In April 2007, after the elections but before Babatunde Fashola had taken office, the Federal Government brought Tinubu before the Code of Conduct Bureau for trial over the alleged illegal operation of 16 separate foreign accounts. In January 2009, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission cleared Tinubu and governors James Ibori of Delta State and Obong Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State of charges of conspiracy, money laundering, abuse of office and official corruption in relation to a sale of V-mobile network shares in 2004. In March 2009, there were reports that a plot had been identified to kill Tinubu. The Alliance for Democracy called on the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, to conduct a thorough investigation. In September 2009, however, there were reports that the British Metropolitan Police were investigating a transaction in which the Lagos State government made an investment in Econet (now Airtel). Tinubu said the transaction was straightforward and profitable to the state, with no intermediaries involved. The Federal Government rejected a request by Britain to release evidence needed for further investigation and prosecution of the three Nigerian ex-governors in a London court.
Tinubu has been widely perceived as the "Godfather of Lagos", leveraging his political capital in the mega city-state to influence regional and national affairs. His role in pulling the strings of the mega city-state was exposed in The Lion of Bourdillion, a 2015 documentary film highlighting Tinubu's political and financial grip on the city-state. Tinubu filed a N150 billion libel suit against the producers, AIT, and the documentary stopped airing on 6 March 2015. Nonetheless, antecedents such as his overbearingness on successors such as in December 2009, when there were reports that Fashola and Tinubu had fallen out over the issue of Fashola's re-election in 2011, with Tinubu preferring the commissioner for environment, Muiz Banire. And a similar scuffle in 2015, over Fashola's successor pitting Tinubu against him who threw his full weight behind Akinwunmi Ambode, who later succeeded Fashola and was himself single-handedly ousted from office by Tinubu replacing him with incumbent Babajide Sanwo-Olu, all goes to show his unprecedented influence in the city-state. During the 2019 election, a bullion van was seen entering Tinubu's residence on Bourdillion Road in Ikoyi, with Tinubu claiming "I keep money anywhere I want".
In 2007, following the landslide victory of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 2007 elections, Tinubu was active in negotiations to bring together the fragmented opposition parties into a "mega-party" capable of challenging the PDP. In February 2013, Tinubu's negotiations in creating a "mega opposition" party became paid off with the merger of Nigeria's three biggest opposition parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the new PDP (nPDP), a faction of serving governors of the then ruling People's Democratic Party – into the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In 2014, Tinubu supported former military head of state General Muhammadu Buhari, leader of the CPC faction of the APC – who commanded widespread following in Northern Nigeria, and had previously contested in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 presidential elections as the APC presidential candidate. Tinubu initially wanted to become Buhari's vice presidential candidate but later conceded for Yemi Osibanjo, his ally and former commissioner of justice. In 2015, Buhari rode the APC to victory, ending the sixteen year rule of the PDP, and marking the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate.
Tinubu has gone on to play an important role in the Buhari administration, supporting government policies and holding onto the internal party reins, in lieu of his long-held rumored presidential aspiration. In 2019, he supported Buhari's re-election campaign defeating the PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar. In 2020, following an internal party crisis which led to the removal of Tinubu ally and party chairman Adams Oshiomole, it is believed the move was to scuttle Tinubu's presidential prospects ahead of 2023.
Tinubu is a Muslim. He is married to Oluremi Tinubu, the current senator of the Lagos Central senatorial district. His nephew, Adewale Tinubu is the CEO of Oando. Tinubu's mother Abibatu Mogaji, died on 15 June 2014, at the age of 96. On 31 October 2017, his son Jide Tinubu had a heart attack while in London and was later confirmed dead.
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- Timeline of Lagos, 2000s
- List of Governors of Lagos State
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