Late Mobolaji Johnson: 21 key facts about former Lagos military governor

Late Mobolaji Johnson: 21 key facts about former Lagos military governor

Thursday, October 31, 2019 10:26 am

Mobolaji Johnson

Nigerians are mourning the passage of first governor of Lagos State, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson who died on Wednesday, 30 October at the age of 83.

Already, tributes are pouring in for the man widely regarded to have laid the foundation for modern Lagos.

According to an FB post by Bayo Osiyemi, “General Johnson, as an Army major, was first appointed the military administrator of Lagos Colony at the advent of the first military administration in 1966; and his first major act in government was the setting up of a committee to look into the possibility of creating a distinct state for Lagos.

On the creation of Lagos State in 1967 by the Yakubu Gowon regime, Mobolaji Johnson was promoted Colonel and named the pioneer military governor of the new state.

Here are 21 key facts to know about the life and times of the late General Mobolaji Johnson

  1. Johnson was born to the family of Joshua Motola Johnson and his wife, Gbemisola Johnson (née Dudley-Coker)
  2. Johnson’s father was of Egba heritage and was a member of the Royal West African Frontier Force during World War II.
  3. The Johnson family moved to Lagos during the early parts of the twentieth century.
  4. Johnson had five other siblings including his brother, Femi Johnson, founder of Femi Johnson and Company of Ibadan.
  5. Johnson started his education at Reagean Memorial Baptist School, Yaba, Methodist School in 1941. He then attended Hussey College, Warri, 1954.
  6. In 1955, he moved to Methodist Boys High School Lagos, the School his father attended, where he finished his secondary education in 1957.
  7. While in MBHS, Lagos, Mobolaji was a good all-round sports man. In 1959 Mobolaji attended the Officer Cadet Training School in Ghana.
  8. Mobolaji Johnson also attended the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, United Kingdom, between 1960-1961.
  9. He was promoted a 2nd Lieutenant, Nigeria Army, 1961 Lieutenant, 1962, Captain, October 1962.
  10. He was appointed Deputy Commander, Federal Guards, 1964.
  11. Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster-General Headquarters, 2nd Brigade, Apapa, Lagos, 1964.
  12. In 1966, after the abortive coup d’etat that put paid to the first Nigerian civilian administration, he became Military Administrator of Lagos State.
  13. Johnson was first appointed by Aguiyi-Ironsi as the administrator of the former federal territory of Lagos in 1966.
  14. In May 1967, Lagos State was created and Johnson became the first governor of Lagos; the state was now composed of the old Federal Territory of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lagos Island plus the additions of the Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and Ikeja divisions.
  15. As a governor, he built the 60.7-kilometre international express road (Lagos–Badagry Expressway) linking Nigeria with the neighbouring countries Benin, Ghana and Togo, Toikin Bridge to link Epe to Ikorodu,  Eko Bridge,  Third Mainland Bridge, a network of roads and bridges that constitutes what is modern day Lagos and reclamation of the Bar Beach shoreline.
  16. Johnson’s administration was responsible for the controversial demolition and disinterment of people buried at Ajele Cemetery such as Samuel Ajayi Crowther, James Pinson Labulo Davies, Madam Tinubu, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and many others.
  17. In 1975 at the inception of the General Murtala Mohammed administration Johnson was one of the two state Governors (along with Brigadier General Oluwole Rotimi) found not guilty of corruption by the three-man panel commissioned to investigate the various allegations of corruption amongst the State Governors.
  18. He retired from the Nigerian Army in 1975 and went into private business. He had four children, three sons and a daughter.
  19. Johnson served as the Chairman of Nigerian Conservation Foundation and Director of construction giant Julius Berger Nigeria
  20. He was the Chairman Executive Council of Lagos State University Development Foundation.
  21. He was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Methodist Boys’ High School, Lagos Old Boys’ National Association, a position he earned as a distinguished Old Boy who was of great assistance to his Alma Mater.

Source: Wikipedia

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