From John Silas and Cyracus Nnaji, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State University (LASU) have expressed sadness over the passage of the first civilian governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
Jakande, a renowned journalist and elder statesman, who was governor of the state during the aborted 2nd Republic, between 1979 and 1983, died Thursday at the age of 91.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, noted that the late Jakande will remain one of the best public office holders in the political history of Nigeria based on how he transformed Lagos state and Nigeria during his tenure as Minister of Works.
The Governor said Jakande popularly referred to as ‘Baba Kekere’ attracted lots of development projects to Lagos State as governor between October 1,1979 and December 31, 1983 in line with the five cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), founded by the late sage and former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
The Governor also described the former Minister of Works as an epitome of honesty, dedication and selflessness, who used his elevated positions for the betterment of the people he served. Sanwo-Olu said the late Alhaji Jakande was one of the few Lagosians and Nigerian leaders that demystified politics by bringing governance closer to the people, adding that he left with unimpeccable record and a reference for governors in Lagos and other parts of the country.
He said: “On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and associates of the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande as well as members of the progressive community.
“No doubt, the death of Alhaji Jakande is a colossal loss to Lagos State and Nigeria. He made lots of positive impact and contribution during his lifetime to the growth of our dear State by introducing housing and educational programmes that targeted the poor, building new neighbourhood primary and secondary schools and providing free education for all.”
“Baba Jakande within his four years in office established the Lagos State University. His government constructed over 30,000 housing units,which were of great value to the masses.
“Having distinguished himself as ‘Action Governor’, Alhaji Jakande was appointed Minister of Works in 1993 where he replicated his developmental programmes, by building thousands of housing units in different parts of Nigeria as Federal Low Cost Housing Estates.
*LASU mourns Jakande
Also, the Lagos State University (LASU) said it was mourning the first civilian governor of the state and former Visitor to the university, Alhaji Jakande.
In a press statement by Ademola Adekoya, Coordinator Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations (LASU), maintained that even though Jakande passed away at the ripe old age of 91, his death was nonetheless a great loss not only to the Lagos State and Nigeria, but especially to the Lagos State University, an institution borne out of his visionary leadership, sagacity and deep appreciation for education.
The statement further noted that the University survived many storms to stand strong today, tells of the sure and solid foundation upon which Alhaji Jakande founded the institution.
“Like the Lagos State University, his inimitable legacies scattered across the state, almost 38 years after he left office as Governor, remain proofs of his sound and prudent leadership during a period of limited resources.
“And while his tremendous achievements as Governor of Lagos State often overshadow his exploits as a journalist in the 50s, 60s and 70s, Alhaji Jakande undoubtedly remains one of the fathers of the Nigerian Press as his record in the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper and other media houses where he served suggest.”
The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oyedamola Oke, on behalf of the entire University Community noted that Alhaji Jakande has left a huge gap that cannot be filled, and condoles with his family, the Lagos State Government, led by Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the entire state and the nation on his death.