BBN Special

Meet Kenya’s president-elect’s son-in-law who is a product of ‘Lagos One Day Governor’ project

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When congratulatory messages trickled in for William Ruto following his victory at the recently concluded presidential elections in Kenya, a Nigerian man, Alexander Ezenagu, caused a stir on social media after revealing his relationship to the Kenyan president-elect.

“Congratulations to my father-in-law on your election as the President of the Republic of Kenya. We trust in your ability to deliver your manifesto,” he had tweeted on Monday.

Ezenagu, an academic, is married to Ruto’s first daughter, June. The couple tied the knot in May 2021.

However, little do many know that his journey to becoming a son-in-law to the next leader of the most important African nations didn’t happen overnight.

Alexander and his father-in-law, William Ruto.

It was learnt that Ezenagu is a product of the annual Lagos State Spelling Bee competition, a pet project of New Era Foundation, an initiative of Senator Oluremi Tinubu who was the then First Lady of Lagos. The overall winner of the competition becomes a One Day Governor, while runners-up form the cabinet.

Then a student of Bolade Grammar School, Oshodi, he emerged second runner-up in the 2004 edition of the competition and became a member of the “Council of One Day Governors”.

But that wasn’t the end of his relationship with Mrs. Tinubu. In 2010, when Ezenagu graduated from the University of Ibadan with a First Class degree in law, the former First Lady led a high-profile delegation to his graduation ceremony.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Alexander Ezenagu.

Through her New Era Foundation, she also paid for his law school education and gifted him his first car in 2011. His employment by the leading Nigerian law firm, Banwo and Ighodalo, was also said to have been facilitated by Mrs Tinubu.

Ezenagu would go on to obtain his Masters degree in 2013 from the prestigious University of Cambridge on a scholarship. He later bagged his Ph.D. in International Tax Law from McGill University, Canada. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Taxation and Commercial Law at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar.

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