On March 11, Nigerians in various states across the country would be heading out to the polls to vote for who they want to be the next governor of their states. However, everyone seems to be focused on the elections of a particular state — Lagos.

An aerial view of Victoria Island, Lagos [Encyclopedia Britannica]

But what makes the city such a ‘hot cake’ and a talking point for many Nigerians? Who are the contestants for the state’s governorship race? What requirements do these people need to meet to be eligible for election as governor?

Let’s dig in here:

What makes Lagos so valuable?

The answer is straightforward — the city generates a lot of money which politicians can embezzle use to take it to the next height.

In 2021, Lagos State collected Nigeria’s highest Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) (N753. 46 billion). In fact, 60 per cent of Nigeria’s tax revenue comes from Lagos alone. 

Lagos is also Nigeria’s financial hub, with all major banks headquartered in the City. It is home to the Nigerian Stock Exchange [NSE] and accounts for over 80% of the country’s foreign trade flows.

It is also known to be Africa’s largest metropolitan city, with a population of 15.4 million people of various skill sets contributing to the economy. As a result, it is seen as a profitable consumer market for multinational companies. This includes companies like MTN, Shoprite, Starlink, etc.

Lagos is Africa’s largest metropolitan city [Premium Times]

Lagos also has a very generous pension plan for ex-governors. Even though the Lagos State House of Assembly called out and revised the pension plan in 2021, ex-governors are entitled to 2 cars that can be changed every four years, household staff, and 100% of the basic annual salaries of an incumbent governor and deputy, amongst others.

If you ever become Lagos State governor, you’re made for life.

Who is in the race for Lagos State governor?

We have 16 candidates vying for the position, but three out of the 16 candidates are currently gaining traction. They are:

Babajide Sanwo-Olu (APC)

The incumbent governor is seeking re-election for a second term in office alongside his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.

Even though he has had achievements such as a free health policy for children and establishments of hospitals across the grassroots, his tenure has been largely marred by the event of the 2020 Lekki Toll Gate Shootings and his lack of accountability for the tragedy.

This has reduced public trust in his administration.

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (Labour Party)

Rhodes-Vivour, a 40-year-old politician (aka GRV), is an architect, a social and human rights crusader, and a businessman. 

His journey into politics became pronounced when he contested for the Ikeja Local Government Chairmanship position under the umbrella of the KOWA party in 2017.

In 2019, he lost the Lagos West senatorial ticket under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC’s Senator Adeola Olalekan (Yayi). Rhodes-Vivour emerged as the Labour Party’s governorship candidate in August 2022 after decamping from the PDP.

Rhodes-Vivour’s chances of winning the governorship race were brightened after LP’s Peter Obi’s surprise win of Lagos State in the presidential polls, defeating his rival and now president-elect, Bola Tinubu.

Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (Jandor) (PDP)

The PDP gubernatorial candidate was once a member of the APC and convener of its Lagos4Lagos Movement.

So far, asides from his shocking unveiling of Nollywood actress Funke Akindele as his running deputy, Jandor’s campaign has mostly gone unnoticed.

What are the constitution’s criteria for governorship?

According to Section 6, Sub-section 177 of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, a Nigerian is qualified for election as Governor of a State if he is:

  1. A citizen of Nigeria by birth
  2. Attained the age of 30 years 
  3. A member of a political party and sponsored by the same party
  4. Educated up to at least School Certificate level or equivalent.

Now you know everything about the Lagos State elections! If you’re a Lagosian and a registered voter, come out on March 11 to vote for your favourite candidate in the gubernatorial polls!

Citizen also promises to give you real-time updates on the Lagos state election next Saturday. Join us on WhatsApp to not miss out.



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