CACOL COMMISERATES WITH THE FAMILY OF LATE ALHAJI LATEEF KAYODE JAKANDE
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, received with sympathy and much grief, the death of Alhaji LateefKayodeJakande a journalist par excellence and the first Executive Governor of Lagos State whose sad event occurred on the 11th of February 2021.
In a release issued on behalf of the Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by Mr. TolaOresanwo, the Organisation’s Director of Administration and Programmes, he said “We remembered vividly how Alhaji LateefKayodeJakande was encouraged by late Chief ObafemiAwolowo, to contest for gubernatorial election in Lagos State in 1979, on the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) platform. He defeated his opponents, Adeniran Ogunsanya of Nigeria People’s Party (NPP) and Sultan LadegaAdeniji Adele of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and was subsequently sworn in as the first Executive Governor of Lagos State”.
His administration was effective and open and implemented the cardinal policies of his party. He introduced housing and educational programs targeting the poor, building new neighbourhood primary and secondary schools and providing free primary and secondary education. He also established the Lagos State University.
Jakande’s government constructed over 30,000 housing units. The schools and housing units were built cheaply, but were of great value. Some of the housing units include low cost estates in Amuwo-Odofin, Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu, Badagry.
“We cannot forget in a hurry how as governor, late Alhaji Jakande kept a low profile and remained frugal in his lifestyle. He lived throughout in his personal house which he had built in the Ilupeju area of Lagos long before he became governor. He also continued to use his personal car”.
He withdrew his children from private schools and enrolled them at public schools at a time political opponents derided his free education programme as eroding the quality of education in the schools. Within the four years and three months of his governorship, MrJakande laid the foundation for Lagos’ transition into a mega city.
“All these and many more are no doubt, living testimony to his unparalleled legacy that propelled us, at CACOL, to have recognized him with the CACOL’s Integrity Award as a ‘Symbol of Integrity’ back in 2013. That eloquently speaks to his leadership ability, even outside office”.
Though he was buried the following day, Friday, February 12, 2021 (according to Islamic rites) at the Vaults and Garden Cemetery, Ikoyi, in Lagos state, his memory will linger on for generations to come by all privileged to know him or any of the family members; thus further confirming the Yorubas’ saying that, “DidunniIrantiOlododo”, literally meaning the ‘The Just and Virtuous remain Evergreen in our memory”. No doubt, ‘Baba Kekere’ as he was fondly called lived a most virtuous, selfless and remarkable life that is worthy of emulation by all would be politicians.
“We also want to use thismedium to suggest to Lagos State Government, to immediately effect a change of the present name of the Lagos State University (LASU) to LateefJakande University (LAJU) as a mark of honourfor him, to appreciate his lasting legacies bequeathed to the state and to keep his memory alive in the minds of the coming generation”.
“It is therefore, our utmost prayer that his legacy and footprints would remain a reference point, worthy of emulation by all as Nigeria gropes for a new dawn in its search for true nationhood. We also pray for the required fortitude and composure to bear his irreversible transition to eternity. Death, as we all surmise, remains an inevitable end of all; but our solace and comfort remains in the fact that he lived a worthy and remarkable life”.
Director, Administration and Programmes, CACOL.