Tokunbo Abiru: Former Polaris Bank MD appointed Chairman of Southern Senators forum 

On Wednesday, Senator Tokunbo Abiru was inaugurated as the Chairman of the Southern Senators Forum, marking a significant development in the Senate’s dynamics.

This event unfolded just 24 hours after a dramatic plenary session that resulted in the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi, the former Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum. 

During the meeting, which convened 51 senators representing 17 southern states, the decision was made to revive the forum, with Senator Abiru assuming leadership. Additionally, six executives were elected under Abiru’s chairmanship. 

Senator Bamidele, while acknowledging the existence of the southern forum since the 9th Senate, clarified that he was unable to provide leadership due to his responsibilities as the Senate Majority Leader. 

In his inaugural address, Senator Abiru pledged that the forum would serve as a platform for constructive dialogue and analysis of national issues. He emphasized the importance of collaboration with the Northern Senators Forum to advance the country’s interests. 

Abiru’s appointment marks a significant transition, replacing Senator Opeyemi Bamidele as the Senate Leader and Senator Victor Umeh as the Vice Chairman.

This development comes nine months into the tenure of the 10th Senate, signaling a renewed focus on regional cooperation and dialogue within the legislative body. 


Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, FCA is a distinguished Nigerian banker, Chartered Accountant, who transitioned into public service. Currently serving as the Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial district in the 9th Nigerian National Assembly, Abiru brings to the table an impressive 32 years of corporate experience, with nearly three decades dedicated to the banking sector. 

 Notably, he held the pioneering role of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at Polaris Bank Limited, where he orchestrated the remarkable turnaround of erstwhile Skye Bank Plc. This endeavor, undertaken amidst a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-induced takeover, averted the bank’s collapse and safeguarded the stability of the Nigerian financial system. 

 Abiru’s illustrious banking career also saw him hold key positions at renowned Nigerian financial institutions, including First Bank of Nigeria, where he ascended to the role of Executive Director, Corporate Banking, and Guaranty Trust Bank, among others.  

In addition to his banking expertise, Abiru has served as a Non-Executive Director on esteemed boards such as FBN Capital Limited (now FBN Quest Merchant Bank Limited), FBN Bank Sierra Leone Limited, Airtel Mobile Networks Limited, and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS). 

 Beyond the banking sector, Abiru has contributed significantly to public administration, having served as the Honourable Commissioner of Finance in Lagos State from 2011 to 2013, during the tenure of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).  

Educationally, Abiru holds a B.Sc. in Economics from Lagos State University and is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), as well as an Honorary Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB). He has also enriched his professional acumen through programs at Lagos Business School (LBS) and Harvard Business School (USA).  

In August 2020, Abiru retired from the banking sector to embark on a new chapter in public service. His decision culminated in his successful bid for the Lagos East Senatorial bye-election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Party. He emerged victorious on December 5, 2020, securing 89% of the total votes cast, thus assuming his role as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Download NewsTimes App for breaking news and market intelligence.
play store banner     app store banner

Back to top button