The Lagos State Governor’s Residences And Offices (Pictures, Videos And Stories).
This thread is part of a much longer thread that I have been composing since 2012, but which I have not finished. The pictures in this thread are from the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Nostalgia Project, the videos are from the Lagos State Government and the stories are from my memory.
Lagos House, Marina
Lagos House Marina was built by Cappa and D’Alberto to serve as the residence of the chief secretary to the Colonial Government. The chief secretary of the Colonial Government was kind of like the secretary to the Government of the Federation (before President Obasanjo separated the positions of SGF and head of service). He was the head of the Colonial Civil Service.
This advertisement by Cappa & D’Alberto in a 1957 edition of the Nigeria Quarterly Magazine shows the residence of the chief secretary of the Colonial Government, which was designed by FPWD and built by Cappa & D’Alberto.
In 1957, on the eve of independence, the British Government requested that the Colonial Government should hand over the building so that they could use it as the residence of the British high commissioner to Nigeria. The Colonial Government refused and gave the British Government another piece of land on the Marina instead.
In 1966 Major Mobolaji Johnson was serving in Benin in the Mid-West Region when he was summoned by the governor of the Mid-West, Lieutenant Colonel David Ejoor. Governor Ejoor gave Mobolaji Johnson a smart salute and told him that the supreme commander wanted to see him in Lagos. (Governor Ejoor probably already knew why the supreme commander wanted to see Mobolaji Johnson and that’s why he gave him the smart salute).
The supreme commander, Major General JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi, told Major Johnson that he needed someone to help him administer Lagos. He said that the problems of Lagos and Nigeria were too great and he needed someone that would take the problems of Lagos off him. He listed Major Johnson’s qualities and also said that Major Johnson was a Lagos boy and would be able to administer Lagos properly.
Governor Lateef Jakande and his Executive Council at Lagos House Marina in 1981
Major Mobolaji therefore became the administrator of the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos. General Ironsi gave him the former residence of the chief secretary of the Colonial Government (which was next door to State House, Marina where Ironsi lived) and it became the Lagos House, Marina.
In 1967, the head of state, Major General Yakubu Gowon, made Lagos a state and Lieutenant Colonel Mobolaji Johnson became the first governor of Lagos. The former residence of the prime minister of Nigeria was handed over to the state government and it became the state secretariat. It was there that Governor Johnson, along with legends like Hawson-Wright (secretary to the government), Coker (financial secretary), Agoro (legal) and Adeyemi-Bero (chief of staff/principal secretary) began the administration of Lagos State.
(The prime minister’s residence was handed over to ECOWAS in the 1970s and it became the ECOWAS Headquarters).
Lagos House, Marina. It was renovated after a fire in the early 2000s
Governors Mobolaji Johnson, Adekunle Lawal, Ndubuisi Kanu and Ebitu Ukiwe lived at Lagos House, Marina. In 1976 the Murtala Muhammed Administration made Ikeja the capital of Lagos and the Lagos State Government gradually began moving to Ikeja. The office of the governor was moved to the Round House, Alausa in Ikeja in 1979.
Governor Lateef Jakande chose to stay at his personal house in Ilupeju, rather than moving in to Lagos House (he also chose to use his personal car, a Toyota Crown, rather than an official car). The residence of the governor was eventually moved to Ikeja GRA in 1984.
Despite the fact that the governor was not in residence, Lagos House, Marina was used for certain ceremonial functions like Boys Scout meetings and reception of visiting dignitaries.
Governor Babatunde Fashola with General Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the APC who came to pay him a condolence visit at the reception room of Lagos House, Marina
On December 16th, 1996 the Lagos State governor, Colonel Mohammed Buba Marwa was on his way to work when a bomb exploded. The bomb destroyed the last car in his motorcade, plucking out one of the eyeballs of Lance Corporal David Umoh, who was inside the unlucky vehicle, while police Corporal Olusola, another occupant of the car, was fatally wonded A passer-by, akpata Collins, was also wounded. The bomb exploded while the motorcade was near Sheraton Hotel, on its way from State House Ikeja GRA to his office at the Round House in Alausa. Six of the cars parked in the adjacent taxi park at the Sheraton Hotel were extensively damaged. Flying shrapnel also damaged two rooms located on the fourth and sixth floors of the Sheraton.
Governor Babatunde Fashola with President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his cabinet who came to pay him a condolence visit at Lagos House, Marina
Governor Marwa took some measures in response to the attack. He wrote to General Sani Abacha to seek for permission to move from State House, Ikeja GRA to Lagos House, Marina. State House GRA did not have the security buffer that Lagos House, Marina had. It was also at this time that Governor Marwa started using two armoured Land Cruiser SUVs as his official vehicles instead of the Peugeot 504 cars that he previously used.
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola’s birthday celebration at the reception room at Lagos House, Marina
I passed the road in front of Lagos House Marina everyday in the early 1980s, but that road has been blocked twice since then. It was blocked for the first time in 1983 after the fire at Net Building. This was done for safety reasons. The road was opened in the late 1980s, but it was blocked again in 1990 when the house to the right of Lagos House was made the Flag Staff House (that is, the residence of the chief of army staff). This time it was blocked for security reasons and it has remained blocked since then.
State House, Ikeja GRA is right by a public road and Governor Marwa needed a place that was some distance away from the road, for security reasons.
Governor Marwa moved to Lagos House, Marina in order to benefit from the heavy security that was provided to the chief of army staff next door.
The governor’s conference room at Lagos House, Marina.
Since 1996, Governors Mohammed Buba Marwa, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Babatunde Raji Fashola and Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu have used Lagos House Marina as their official residence.
There was a fire at Lagos House, Marina in the early 2000s and Governor Bola Tinubu and his family were temporarily relocated to State House Ikeja GRA while Lagos House was renovated.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife observe their Easter prayers in the sitting room at Lagos House, Marina. They did not go to church due to restrictions that were imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lagos House Marina should not be confused with State House Marina which is beside it. This is Lagos House Marina.
And this is State House Marina.
State House Marina was the residence of the head of state of Nigeria from 1914 till 1967. Lord Lugard, Sir Hugh Clifford, Sir Graeme Thompson, Sir Donald Cameron, Sir Bernard Bourdillon, Sir John Shuckburgh, Sir Alan Burns, Sir Arthur Richards, Sir John Macpherson and Sir James Robertson lived here before Nigeria’s independence. President Nnamdi Azikiwe, General Aguiyi-Ironsi and General Yakubu Gowon lived here after independence. General Gowon moved the head of state’s residence to State House Ribadu Road in 1967 (just before the Civil War). State House Ribadu Road was subsequently given the name of the nearby army barracks, Dodan Barracks.
State House, Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA
The head of state, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, made Ikeja the capital of Lagos in 1976 and the Lagos State Government gradually began moving from Lagos Island to Ikeja.
State House, Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA.
The former first lady of Lagos, Mrs Foluke Mudasiru, was not interested in the trappings of office at all. She wanted to have a normal life. Therefore, she told he husband that she did not want to live at Lagos House, Marina. Governor Mudasiru’s office was at rhe Round House in Alausa, while her farm was at Iju and it didn’t make sense to live far away at Marina (remember that the Third Mainland Bridge had not been completed at that time. It ended at Ebute Metta). Besides, the governor had a siren blaring motorcade that could clear the way for him, but she didn’t want any motorcade. She wanted a normal life.
Therefore, they got a place on Isaac John Street in Ikeja GRA, very close to their house at the Air Force Quarters, and that became State House, Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA.
Governors Gbolahan Mudasiru, Mike Akhibge, Raji Rasaki, Michael Otedola, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Mohammed Buba Marwa stayed at State House, Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA during their tenures.
Governor Marwa moved to Lagos House Marina after the 1996 bomb attack on his motorcade and State House, Ikeja GRA became the governor’s guest house.
Governor Bola Tinubu briefly stayed at State House Isaac John Street in the early 2000s when Lagos House, Marina was being renovated after a fire.
The Round House
The Round House was the office of the governor of Lagos from 1979 till 2007. It is at the State Secretariat in Alausa.
This is a video of Governor Bola Tinubu’s first day in office at the Round House, Alausa. You get a very good view of the Round House, see the governor’s motorcade drive up the ramp to the Round House and see him acknowledge cheers from workers at the State Secretariat.
Governor’s Lateef Jakande, Gbolahan Mudasiru, Mike Akhigbe, Raji Rasaki, Michael Otedola, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Mohammed Buba Marwa and Bola Tinubu worked at the Round House during their tenures.
The Round House, Alausa.
The office of the governor was moved to the new Lagos House, Alausa in 2007, just before Governor Tinubu left office and the Round House was handed over to the deputy governor and is now the deputy governor’s office.
This is a video of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola innaugurating the governing board of the Lagos State College of Primary Education at the Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Round House, Alausa.
Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola receives guests at the reception room of the Round House, Alausa.
Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja
Governor Mike Akhigbe did not like the idea of the Lagos State governor commuting from State House, Ikeja GRA to the Round House at Alausa every day. He wanted a Lagos House that had the governor’s residence, the governor’s office, banquet hall, council chambers, guest house, tennis court, swimming pool and other facilities in one compound. Basically, he wanted Lagos State’s own State House Ribadu Road (Dodan Barracks).
Governor Akhigbe began building the new Lagos House at Alausa in 1987, but he wasn’t able to complete it and the project was abandoned.
Governor Bola Tinubu decided to continue the project and it was completed in 2007 (20 years after it was started) just before Tinubu left office. Governor Tinubu said that his successor, Governor Babatunde Fashola, could choose to live at Alausa or he could choose to live at Marina. Governor Fashola chose to live at Marina. However, he began using the new Lagos House at Alausa as his office. The Round House was handed over to the deputy governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan and it became the deputy governor’s office.
Governor Babatunde Fashola receives the Champions League trophy and Ruud Gullit at the meeting room at Lagos House, Alausa.
Lagos House Alausa, the Round House, the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Lagos State Secretariat are all within walking distance of each other (almost like Lagos State’s version of the Three Arms Zone, except that the High Court is at GRA).
In 2015 Governor Akinwunmi Ambode decided that he would live at Lagos House Alausa because it would save him time since he wouldn’t have to commute from Marina to Alausa everyday.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode introduces his children to President Muhammadu Buhari at the sitting room in the residence at Lagos House, Alausa.
However, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu decided to live at Marina when he became governor in 2019.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Governor’s Office at Lagos House, Alausa
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Governor’s Office at Lagos House, Alausa.
Governor Babatunde Fashola and the GOC 81 Division at the Governor’s Office, Lagos House, Alausa.