👤 Adenike Lucas, Editor, DENISAURUS News
The first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande has died this morning.
The popular politician who died at the age of 91, was governor of Lagos State from 1979 to 1983. He was most known for building and implementing free schools in the state.
Alhaji Jakande also built many low cost housing in Lagos state. Another of his legacy, DENISAURUS News reports is the Jakande housing estate.
The beloved politician, who is survived by two sons, ensured that his children schooled at the public schools he built. This is a strange custom to modern politicians in Nigeria, who would rather send their children abroad for expensive tuition.
The death of Alhaji Jakande was confirmed by the current governor of the state, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu.
“Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. With gratitude to God for a worthy life well spent in the service of Lagos State, Nigeria and humanity, I announce the death of a venerable statesman, outstanding politician, public administrator and the first Civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande,” Governor Sanwo-Olu wrote on Facebook.
In the full statement, Governor Sanwo-Olu praised the deceased journalist who served as a politician, saying his achievements as governor of Lagos State were “remarkable.”
“Baba Jakande’s record of service as a journalist of repute and a leader of remarkable achievements as governor of Lagos State will remain indelible for generations to come. His death is a collosal loss and he will be missed.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Baba Jakande.
“May Allah grant him Aljanat Firdaus, Aamin.”
Tributes have began to roll in for Alhaji Jakande, who also served as Minister of Works from 1993 – 1998.
One of those tribute was writing by Oludare Akinniyi, a popular journalist and political communicator from Lagos.
“I am writing this tribute as a student of history and a full bred Lagosian. Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, also called ‘LKJ’ was governor together with these great men — the Late Olabisi Onabanjo of Ogun State, Late Ambrose Alli of the defunct Bendel State, Late Bola Ige of old Oyo State, Late Adekunle Ajasin of old Ondo State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa of Kaduna State, Jim Nwobodo of Anambra State, Late Sam Mbakwe of Imo State as political actors and state governors in Nigeria, around the same political era.
“No one is infallible but I doubt if there is anyone who can speak ill of his name, in terms of governance and selfless leadership. Perhaps, those who criticized him for accepting to serve under the Military government of General Sani Abacha, as Minister of works.
“No one could accuse him of immoderate lifestyles, from a meticulous Journalist to the post of editor-in-chief with Tribune Newspapers in 1956, and then a Governor — these feats were almost impossible for people with no university education. Jakande ensured that members of his family attend same state-run schools and hospitals he built.
“On September 22, 1978, Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo announced the creation of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, and Alhaji Lateef Jakande emerged as the governorship candidate of the UPN in Lagos State after so much politicking, on the ballot-paper against Ladega Adeniji-Adele of the National Party of Nigeria — NPN and Adeniran Ogunsanya of Nigerian People’s Party — NPP, he won the gubernatorial election and was sworn-in on October 1, 1979.
“Unlike what we have today, after his swearing-in ceremony, Jakande swung into action and the first areas where he made remarkable impact were in the areas of housing, education, health, and rural development, which were the key programmes of UPN’s manifestos. History has it that he built 11,729 classrooms within five months and as at 1983, he had built more than 22,000 classrooms.
“He established the Lagos State University, Lagos Television and Radio Lagos and moved the state secretariat to its present site at Alausa from the old one at Oba Akinjobi Road in the GRA.
“Jakande created many Low-Cost Housing Estates in various parts of Lagos — Epe, Ikorodu, Surulere, Badagry, Iba, Abesan in Ipaja, Iponri, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Amuwo-Odofin, Isolo etc. His major project was the LAGOS METROLINE PROJECT, whose foundation was laid in 1983 by then President Shehu Shagari [now late] and this project, whose first phase would have been completed in 1984 at a cost of N510 million was truncated on the orders of the military government that aborted the 2nd Republic.
“In December 2013, the Punch newspaper interviewed Mr. Jakande and one of the questions the reporter asked him was, “Your children attended public schools. How do you feel today that leaders send their children abroad to school?” The former governor’s replied; “I feel that it is wrong and unfair for leaders to educate their children abroad while other children are educated in Nigeria. It is not fair.”