President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and other prominent dignitaries on Thursday mourned ex-Lagos State Governor Lateef Jakande who died at 91.
Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, expressed the belief that Alhaji Jakande lived for the good of others, Lagos State and Nigeria as a nation.
“President Muhammadu Buhari believes former Governor of Lagos State, Chief Lateef Jakande, 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.
“The President, 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 notes 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.
“The President joins government and people of Lagos State, Nigerian Union of Journalists, and Nigerian Guild of Editors, in mourning the veteran journalist, praying that the almighty God will receive his soul and grant him eternal rest,” the statement said.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the remarkable achievements of the late Jakande as governor 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.
“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.”
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, eulogised the deceased elder statesman.
The governor said: “Papa Jakande was a statesman of statesmen. He was not just a great disciple of the legendary Obafemi Awolowo, he carried the Awoist traits everywhere he went. Lagos has lost a visioner. The Awoists family has lost a great inheritor and practitioner of the great legacy and Nigeria’s progressive politics has been weaned of a model.
“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.”
Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi expressed his condolences on the death of the first elected Governor of Lagos State.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described the late Jakande as a selfless leader, statesman and a role model who utilised public service effectively for the development of the people.
Dr Fayemi described the late Jakande as a leader with uncommon accomplishments, one of the founding fathers of progressive politics in Nigeria and a committed Awoist who elevated service to the people above other consideration.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma described the late Jakande as one of the honest, selfless and faithful leaders Nigeria has produced.
Uzodimma said Lagos Sate and Nigeria would miss Jakande because of his populist programmes that stood him out as governor and endeared him to the people.
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola sent heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Lagos State over the death of the first civilian governor of the state.
Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, also commiserated with the Jakande family and friends.
He said Jakande was a professional and respected journalist, progressive politician, distinguished public servant and an outstanding leader, who demonstrated strong concern and commitment to the welfare of the people he served.
Former Ogun State Governor Aremo Segun Osoba said with Jakande’s death an iroko tree has fallen.
Osoba, in a statement, said Jakande would be remembered as a personification of the best in journalism and a political colossus.
He said the deceased politician singlehandedly founded both the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).
“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 levels.
“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,” Osoba said.
The chairman of the Nigerian chapter of the IPI, Kabiru Yusuf, in a statement mourning the late Jakande, said: “Alhaji Jakande was not only a celebrated editor in Nigeria, he was a devoted member of IPI and President of IPI Executive Board.
Lagos House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa urged Buhari to revisit the Metroline project in honour of the late Jakande.
Obasa made the plea in a motion raised yesterday during a plenary session in honour of the first civilian governor of the state.
”Jakande would have been remembered more if he had been allowed to do the metroline project.
“Now that he is dead, the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, should remember Jakande with the project or any other befitting project,” he said.
A former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu said the late elder statesman left his mark in the political landscape, not only in Lagos but in Nigeria as a whole as a member of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group (AG) and later the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Okunnu described the late Jakande as an astute politician. With the death of Jakande, he said: “He left his mark on the educational development of Lagos, with his free primary education programme, which he launched when he became governor in 1979. Another programme he embarked upon was the housing estates scattered across the state, including the one in Bode Thomas Street, Surulere, in Ikoyi-Obalende, in Isolo, in Ajah, and other parts of the state. Those are some of the landmark projects that he undertook during tenure that I can remember.
The chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), described Jakande as a true progressive leader with verifiable record of service to the people.
In a statement, the Senator stated that Jakande lived an exemplary life.
“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.