BIOGRAPHY/PROFILE/CURRICULUM VITAE OF MRS ABIMBOLA FASHOLA. She is the wife of the Executive Governor Of Lagos State ” Babatunde Raji Fashola”. A woman of quiet dignity. She is a model of calm composure. She is a symbol of genuine humility. She has an uncommon capacity for hard work and a burning passion to motivate youths to actualize their potentials. Her unassuming carriage and disarming simplicity belie her status as the first Lady of Lagos State, Nigeria’s most populous and economically viable state. In her characteristically simple and unobtrusive style, Her Excellency, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, has been working assiduously behind the scenes to complement the efforts of the Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), and add value to governance in Lagos State.
Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola was born on 6th april, 1965 into the Ojo I’badan family of Ibadan, Oyo State. She is a distinguished alumnus of the Lagoon Secretarial College, Lagos.
Before now, she worked at the British Council for 19 years at various positions before she resigned her appointment in 2006, to support her husband.
As the First Lady of Lagos State, she is the Chairman of Committee of Wives of Lagos State Offficials (COWLSO) – a community based; non governmental organisation. Under her leadership, COWLSO has commissioned four (4) recreation centres, and pays for the free screeening and treatment of women with breast and cervical cancer. COWLSO is also currently building the first retirement villa for active retirees and senior citizens.
She is a tireless advocate of health and socio-economic issues, who has had a towering impact on public awareness and sensitization campaigns on topical issues of children and women health, the enviroment, education, HIV/AIDS discrimination, voluntary blood donation, poverty eradication and skill acquisition.
As a dedicated humanitarian, who gives her time, expertise, and resources to make a difference in the lives of people, especially the youths, this passion gave birth to her initiative LEARN (Lagos Empowerment and Resource Network) a non-governmental organisation established to groom youths to be self-confident and socially responsible.
In recognition of her modest contribution to humanity, she was honoured by His Holiness, Pope Benedict the XVI, with a papal medal award. She is also a recipient of several other local and international awards. Of all her achievements, the greatest according to the First Lady is being a devoted wife and mother.In pursuit of her commitment to “grooming tomorrow’s leaders to be confident, self-sufficient and socially responsive through education, vocational skills acquisition and recreation”, Her Excellency has established a unique Non-Governmental Organization, the Lagos Empowerment And Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N). As Chairman of the NGO, she has been diligently overseeing the systematic implementation of its strategic vision of establishing resource centers in the five Administrative Divisions of Lagos State as a basis for thereafter exporting the L.E.A.R.N. model to other jurisdictions.
Within its very short period of existence, L.E.A.R.N. has begun to impact positively on the lives of tomorrow’s leaders through various creative programs targeted at students. Between August and September, 2007, for instance, L.E.A.R.N. successfully organized a 6-week free Summer Skills and Training Camp on basic leadership principles and vocational skills for 485 students from both public and private schools.
In a similar vein, L.E.A.R.N. is currently organizing After School Revision Classes for 3,850 senior WAEC students spread across 19 educational zones in Lagos State. This program will provide a scientific basis for ascertaining the impact of after school revision classes on student performance in WAEC examinations.
With the emergence of China as a global economic power, L.E.A.R.N, through the pro-active leadership of Her Excellency, has initiated the L.E.A.R.N./Sino-Culture Exchange Programme to prepare Nigeria’s future leaders for productive interaction with Chinese society and culture. Under this programme, 25 students from five public primary schools in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area are participating in Chinese language coaching and the best student will have the opportunity of watching the Olympics in Beijing.
Apart from her work among students and youths, Her Excellency is passionate about environmental cleanliness. She has been at the forefront of the campaign for Lagosians, particularly women, to embrace environmental cleanliness and keep the surroundings of their homes and markets clean. She religiously participates actively in the monthly sanitation and weekly market sanitation days showing by personal example the pivotal role of women in maintaining a hygienic environment.
Her Excellency’s accomplished and cultured style is no doubt a reflection of her roots as a daughter of the illustrious Ojo’Badan family of Ibadan. Her grand father, who died in 1952, was the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadan. He fought in the First World War and as the first African Seargent Major in the Army, he won several Medals for bravery in battle. Her great Uncle, Mr. J. Ade Ojo was among the first students of Kings College, Lagos, when it was established in 1952; he was Science Tutor and Games Master at the school for 33 years.
Another Great Uncle of Her Excellency, Chief S. Ade Ojo, was the first Nigerian Clerk of the Legislative Council established in 1941, the first Clerk of the Nigerian House of Representatives in Lagos, the first President of the Western House of Assembly and first Chairman of the Western Nigerian Public Service Commission. He died as the Maye Olubadan of Ibadanland.
Her Great Aunty, Chief Mrs. Adepeju Wuraola Esan, was the First Educated Iyalode of Ibadan land and the first Female Senator in Nigeria. Another of her Uncles, Professor O. Adewole Ojo, was the First Nigerian Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. And Her Excellency’s father, Chief Emmanuel Adewinsi Ojo, was a distinguished lawyer who served as the First African Director of Texaco PLC and died as the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadan land.