A Tale of Two First Ladies… Graceful Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu Meets Iconic Doja Otedola



Wife of Lagos State Governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, recently paid a historic courtesy visit to Lady Doja Otedola, a one-time First Lady of the state and mother of billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola. It was an opportunity for Ibijoke to benefit from the wisdom of the iconic Lady Otedola, writes Ferdinand Ekechukwu

Abraham Lincoln once said: “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.” Ben Carson added: “I’m not sure I want to say it quite like that, but my mother, Sonya Carson, was the earliest, strongest, and most impacting force in my life.” Mothers are ‘ladies’ and so naturally is everywoman. The nomenclature, “mother” appears the sweetest of all words, followed by “love.” This is why both words go pari passu.

It was a celebration of love and motherhood on Monday, when the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, a mother, paid a courtesy visit to Lady Doja Otedola, who also is a one-time First Lady of the state and mother of billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, at her residence in Epe, a once sleepy town in the state.

This is the first time a serving First Lady of the state would pay this former First Lady a courtesy call. It was all smiles, as Ibijoke embraced and feted lady Doja. The former Lagos First Lady prayed for Ibijoke, wishing her success in her endeavous as First Lady.

Lady Doja was married to Sir Michael Otedola the gentle politician who was governor of Lagos State from 1992 to 1993. In a post on Monday on Instagram, Otedola thanked the governor’s wife for the visit. He prayed that future first ladies would also honour Sanwo-Olu’s wife in her old age. He wrote: “Much love from one First Lady to another. Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, took time out of her busy schedule to visit my darling mother at her home in Epe. We appreciate the love and care from the Pillar of Support to the most focused Governor and Mother of our State. Future First Ladies shall also honour you in your old age. Amen.”

The affectionate octogenarian mother and former First Lady of Lagos Lady Doja is illustrious in Epe and across the whole state. Recently, the billionaire’s mother turned 87, and her most famous son Femi celebrated this milestone achievement in an amazing way. This he did by sharing a photo of her on his Instagram page. In the picture, it was clear that Femi’s mom is a very religious woman. For one, she was surrounded by a lot of religious artifacts and materials peculiar to Christianity. Even more, her modestly furnished apartment gives a lot away regarding her humble personality. Realising how much of a gem his mother was, Femi wrote a heartwarming caption that reflected his regard for her.

Ibijoke, a medical doctor, is described as an easygoing, committed professional who has no room for vainglorious pursuits or highflying social life. Since assumption of office a short while ago, she has deployed her medical expertise and experience to helping her husband’s administration tackle the health sector challenges in the state. Ibijoke is a consummate woman who has strongly held forth in the professional and domestic arenas.

Now in her middle age, she has four children, all grown. A Christian like her husband, Ibijoke, a health practitioner of repute has tilled several decades of selfless service to the health profession, especially in the areas of general health and mothering women. She has worked at Harvey Road Health Centre and Maternity for a long time and even rose to become the medical director of the institutions which caters to the health needs of the upper middle class of the society and above. 

At present, there are seven living former first ladies: Taiwo Adefunmilayo Lawal, wife of Adekunle Lawal; Lady Doja Otedola, widow of Michael Otedola; Omolola Oyinlola, wife of Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Munira Marwa, wife of Mohammed Buba Marwa; Oluremi Tinubu, wife of Bola Tinubu; Abimbola Fashola, wife of Babatunde Raji Fashola; and the immediate past, Bolanle Ambode, wife of Akinwunmi Ambode. The titular position of First Lady is traditionally held by the wives of serving governors and presidents, concurrent with his terms of office of the governors and presidents.