A gale of tributes have been pouring in for the first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who died yesterday in Lagos, aged 91.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who formally announced the death through his verified Twitter handle said the remarkable achievements of Jakande would remain indelible for generations to come.
“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.
“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 colossal loss and he will be missed.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC), Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) and former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba also hailed the contributions of the second republic governor fondly called Baba Kekere to the nation’s politics and media.
Jakande lived for others –Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari said the former governor lived for the good of others, state and country, and his legacy of standing for all that was right for humanity would be long remembered.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari, while condoling with family, friends and associates of the elder statesman, affirms that his imprint on the commercial nerve centre of the country, Lagos State, which was the former National capital, will continue to awe and inspire, reminding everyone of the strength of character and sacrifices of the visionary leader.
President Buhari noted that the contributions of the first civilian governor of Lagos State and former Minister of Works to the growth of democracy and good governance in the country, describing him as a patriot, whose wisdom will run through generations, especially in putting people first in development plans.
In his reaction, Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun, eulogised him as a profound protégé of Papa Awo, excellent welfarist, democrat and diplomat of the finest pedigree who was not found wanting in character and disposition throughout his professional and political career.
“There is no way good governance will be mentioned in Nigeria without a reference to the cerebral journalist and administrator, Alhaji Lateef Jakande. He was selfless; an embodiment of in excellence in prudent management of men and resources both as a newspaper man and as governor of Lagos State. Everybody attests to his modesty and exceptional skills in managing the affairs of Lagos State even in the period of austerity measures….”
Former governor of Abia state and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu also commiserated with the government and people of the state.
Kalu said he was a selfless, patriotic and outstanding leader, whose ideology, was anchored on genuine leadership and good governance.
The former Governor while lamenting the passing of the prominent politician, urged the political class to emulate the outstanding leadership attributes of the deceased.
In a condolence message, Kalu emphasized that the former Governor laid a solid foundation for Lagos state, adding that his legacy projects will remain evergreen in the minds of the people.
“The demise of the first civilian Governor of Lagos state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande is a huge loss to the country.
“The late statesman was a genuine and committed leader, who was passionate about the welfare of the people and the development of Lagos state.
“His contributions to the social, economic and political development of Nigeria are remarkable and historic.
“The deceased sustained his goodwill till he departed this sinful world. His good deeds will continue to speak for him.”
NPAN: Advocate of good governance, democracy
Reacting, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) described the passing of its pioneer president as a great loss.
“The nation has lost a great patriot, advocate of good governance and democracy, it said in a statement signed by Kabiru A. Yusus and Alhaji Mohammed Idris, president and secretary respectively.
It added: “While we commiserate with members of the pen fraternity, his immediate and political families as well as the Lagos State Goverment, on this irreparable loss, we could not but ask our today’s politicians to learn from the life and politics of Alh. Jakande and emulate his modesty, selflessness and passion for the people.”
Kalu while praying to Allah to grant Alhaji Jakande Al-Jannah Firdaus, extended his condolences to the deceased’s wife, Alhaja Sikirat Jakande, friends and political associates of the renowned politician.
Iroko tree has fallen – Osoba
Former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba said Jakande would be remembered in history as a personification of the best in Journalism and a political colossus.”
“He was a foundation member of both the Nigeria Union of Journalists and Guild of Editors. An astute politician who left giant footprints wherever he had the opportunity to serve at State and Federal level. As governor of Lagos State, he ran a daily ‘Political Clinic’, where citizens committed him on issues. In Yoruba parlance – Iroko Tree as well as an Elephant has fallen. God grant him eternal rest”.
No Lagos governor has surpassed Jakande’s feats — PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State said no governor has surpassed or come near the achievements of late Lateef Jakande as first civilian governor of the state.
“What a very wrong time for such a man to die! We still need him very greatly, especially in this democracy.
“He was the kind of person that should be on ground to really guide all leaders in the country, not only in Lagos State.
“All his achievements in Lagos have never been met or surpassed. Unfortunately, in Lagos State, we have not had any governor whose performance was near Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s performance.
“So, the challenge is only for those who are either serving now or who will be serving to try to see how to surpass Lateef Jakande’s feats,” yhe PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Gani Taofik, said
The spokesman said Jakande was selfless in service, and many became educated today because of his free education.
According to him, Jakande’s legacies are unparalleled, hence, Feb. 11 must be a public holiday for his honour annually,” Gani said.
Lagos, Oyo APC mourn
The Lagos chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in a statement by its publicity secretary, Seye Oladejo, described Jakande as a statesman and administrator per excellence.
“His passage at this time is a colossal loss not only to the progressive family but also the entire state and our nation in general.
“His landmark achievements as an astute administrator in the governance of Lagos State in the areas of education, housing, health-care and social infrastructure remain enduring legacies in his memory.
“His demise at this trying time in the history of our nation when his rich experience would’ve been handy to resolve our national challenges is regrettable.
“We pray that Almighty Allah will forgive his short-comings, grant him eternal rest and the entire family, immediate and political, the fortitude to bear the great loss,” Oladejo said.
The Oyo State chapter of the party said Jakande laid foundation for the development of the state.
Its chairman, Mr Akin Oke, said the death of the former governor was shocking and disheartening.
“Apart from being a veteran and successful journalist , he was the one that laid the very solid foundation for the development of Lagos State. You can see his footprint all over Lagos State, you can see his impact everywhere you go in Lagos State.
“His policies on education, housing, infrastructure among others are top-notch and well targeted at helping the masses and making lives easy for the downtrodden.
“He will be sorely missed and pray that God grant him easy passage and be with his family at this trying time,” he said.
Lagos NUJ mourns Jakande
Also, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, in a statement by Adeleye Ajayi, and Tunde Olalere, chairman and secretary, respectively described him as an erudite journalist, publisher, administrator par excellence and a political giant.
The union said the deceased, a former Minister of Works and Housing, made it possible for people to attend schools as well as provided shelter for them.
“He made indelible marks in Nigeria’s political history dating back to his days in Action Group (AG) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
“There is no way Nigeria’s political history can be written without a mention of Jakande (Baba Kekere).” Ajayi said.
ADEOLA : Big loss to the progressive family
Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) said the death is a big loss to the progressive family.
In a statement mourning the death of the former Governor of Lagos State between 1979 and 1983, the Senator stated that Alhaji Jakande exemplary life and performance in public offices was a model which is worthy of emulation by any true progressive with a mind to impact positively on his people.
“Alhaji LKJ was a foremost constituent from Lagos West Senatorial District that we are proud of as a good example of service to the people in earthly sojourn. We will surely miss his wise and fatherly counsel in running of public affairs and his repository of knowledge during a critical time in the history of Nigeria” Senator Adeola stated.
You were peerless -IPI
By Lanre Arogundade, Execuitive Director, International Press Centre and former Chairman, Lagos State Council of NUJ hailed him on his contribution to the Nigerian press to Nigeria’s development.
“Not many would remember now that the Lagos State secretariat used to be located around the Ikeja high court premises but it was your government that built a new secretariat complex at Alausa which has since been the seat of the state government. You also had the vision to start a mono-rail project but the military led by Buhari-Idiagbon struck in December 1983 and several years after the rail system remains a missing major ingredient in Lagos State mass transit system.
“For us in the media, the greatest pride we had and will continue to have in you was the fact that you served, served well and left political offices without any baggage of corruption whatsoever.”