Born on March 2, 1957, Jimi Agbaje, amiably known as JK by friends and admirers, is a pharmacist and quintessential politician who is respected for his consistency, principles and humanism, virtues that distinguish him from the average Nigerian politician. He has not only been true to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP and other political groupings associated with him, he has also remained a factor in his party’s affairs. For many years now, he has continued to be in the driving seat in his party’s quest to wrestle power from the political forces that have dominated Lagos politics for nearly two decades.
Agbaje is currently the governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, an enviable position and an unusual confidence he has enjoyed from members of his party and his teeming supporters across Lagos. Unlike the last two near-successful attempts to govern Lagos, this pharmacist turned politician is widely acknowledged this third time, as the candidate with the reach, experience and acceptance by his excellent education, unblemished background, good breeding and knowledge of what the issues are in Lagos politics.
This PDP governorship candidate, no doubt, has unmatched assets and parentage that stand him out. Born to late Chief Julius Kosebinu Agbaje, a distinguished banker and Mrs. Margaret Olabisi Agbaje, a teacher par excellence, Jimi is the second child and first son of five children, including Segun Agbaje, the urbane Chief Executive Officer of GT Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions.
Before veering into politics, Agbaje had a flourishing professional life that was a reference point among his colleagues and friends in the pharmacy profession. For instance, in 1982, he founded his company, JAYKAY Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company Limited and served as Managing Director/CEO until 2005 when he decided to bring his wealth of experience to public service.
Previously, he had served meritoriously as a member of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria; National Secretary of the Nigerian Association of General Practice Pharmacists, NAGPP; National Chairman, NAGPP and Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Lagos State. He was a member, Lagos State Task Force on Fake and Adulterated Drugs, National Drug Formulary and Essential Drugs List and Lagos Hospitals Management Board.
Outside pharmacy and related vocations, Agbaje is also a philanthropist. He sits on the board of blue-chip companies and educational institutions that continue to serve the need of young people in Nigeria at primary, post-primary and even tertiary levels. Such institutions include Oakwood Park Ltd; Atlantic Hall School, Epe and Jimi Agbaje Outreach, a project dedicated to helping the less privileged and other vulnerable people in the society.
The PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State has an enviable and rich political path that draw substantially from activism, social welfare, equality and culture. Many years ago, he shared his thoughts on his entry into politics, a decision that was propelled by his love for justice and service.
According to him, “My interest in politics became manifest with the Moshood Abiola/Bashir Tofa presidential election. I saw the annulment as a personal insult and an assault on the Nigerian people. This led to my first entry into what I would call activism, working with other professionals such as Pat Utomi, Oby Ezekwesili, Tola Mobolurin and Hassan Odukale, among others”. For a better society, Agbaje, during those turbulent years under the military, moved from one form of resistance group to another until he eventually landed in Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-political organization. He later served as Afenifere’s National Treasurer.
Agbaje is an old war horse who for over a decade now, has defeated all his opponents in all party primaries, leading to the emergence of an eventual governorship candidate. In October 2018 again, he became the PDP flagbearer by defeating Adedeji Doherty.
He is happily married to Abiola, a lawyer and they are blessed with three lovely children.