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Buhari, Lawan, Tinubu, Gbaja, NPAN, NGE, NUJ, others mourn as Jakande dies at 91

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Jakande…How he died – Seyi, son

…Buhari, NUJ, NPAN, Afenifere, Osoba, Lawan, govs, others shower tributes

…Lagos NUJ names Light House after him

…Jakande was last of the titans —Tinubu

…Oyetola condoles Sanwo-Olu, Lagos govt over Jakande’s death

…To be buried at Volts and Gardens, Ikoyi 4 pm today

…NGE mourns its pioneer president

…It’s a monumental loss —Gbajabiamila

By Clifford Ndujihe, Dapo Akinrefon,  Henry Umoru, Olasunkanmi Akoni & Olayinka Ajayi

THE reservoirs of tears and tributes were literally opened for Elder statesman, media icon and first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, who passed on, yesterday, at 91.

The former minister of Works died exactly 163 days to his 92nd birthday.

Apart from old age related challenges, Alhaji Jakande did not show signs he was going, a development that left members of members of his family mouth agape.

Explaining how his father died, Seyi Jakande, the third son of the late venerated politician and Awoist also known as Baba Kekere,   said: “He had his breakfast this morning and went back to sleep. At about 11 am, we noticed that he wasn’t   breathing. After confirmation, the medical doctor, he said he was gone.

‘’My father was a selfless leader, somebody that believes in service to humanity.

He displayed that throughout. He did everything he could possibly do in every given capacity. He lived a Lagos of his dream, he was Governor of Lagos State from 1979-1983, he did his best in that capacity and like he always said everything is by the grace of the Almighty Allah not by his power. He died at age 91.”

As sympathisers trooped to Alhaji Jakande’s Ilupeju Lagos home, yesterday, to symapthise with the family, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Chief Olusegun Osoba, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, and the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, showered tributes on him.

Leaders who eulogised Jakande include Governors Babjide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Chief Ayo Opadokun, Chief Olabode George, and Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju

To be buried at Volts, Gardens, Ikoyi  4 pm today

The elder statesman will be buried today at 4 pm at Volts and Gardens Ikoyi after pre0burial prayers at 2 Bishop Street, Ilupeju Lagos at 9 am, according burial arrangements announced by his committee of friends.

Known as committee of friends of LKJ, members of the body include Prof. Abisogun Leigh, Engr. Kamal Giwa, Prince Bayo Oshiyemi, Alhaji Gani Owolabi Dada, Mrs. Omolara Abeke Vaugh, and Alhaja Latifat Olufunke Gbajabiamila.

Jakande lived for the good of others — Buhari

Mourning Jakande, President Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the deceased lived for the good of others.

The statement: read: “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.”

Ensuring good governance best way to immortalise Jakande, says Sanwo-Olu

Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said 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 tenures governor and later  Minister of Works.

He  described the deceased the as an epitome of honesty, dedication and selflessness, who used his elevated positions for the betterment of the people he served.

Sanwo-Olu said Jakande left impeccable records in Lagos State and that is why he remained till date, a reference point for governors in Lagos and other parts of the country.

“Alhaji Jakande popularly referred to as ‘Baba Kekere’ brought a lot of development 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.

“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.”

Jakande personified best in journalism — Osoba

In his tribute, Chief Olusegun Osoba, said: “Jakande will be remembered in history as a personification of the best in Journalism and a political colossus. He single handedly founded both the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.

“He was the first black African Chairman of the International Press Institute made up of Publishers and Editors all over the world.

“He was a foundation member of both the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the Guild of Editors. He was 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 consulted him on issues. “In Yoruba parlance: ‘Iroko Tree as well as an Elephant has fallen”.

NPAN mourns its founding president

Newspaper proprietors said they received with shock the death of their founding president.

In a statement by Kabiru A Yussuf (president) and Alhaji  Mohammed Idris (general secretary) titled: ‘’NPAN Pioneer President Drops the Pen,”NPAN said: ‘’It was with  great shock that we learnt of the passage today, Thursday, February 11, 2021, of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, the first civilian governor of Lagos State. He was 91.

”Between 1969 and 1979, Alh. Jakande,  midwifed the Association from infancy and it is to his eternal glory that the NPAN became the octopus that it is today.

Austere, selfless, people oriented, Alhaji Jakande transferred these core values from newspapering / newsroom into politics and acquitted himself.

He became a reference point for performance not just in Lagos State which he served as a governor but across the country. He was also Minister of Works under the Abacha administration

It is on record that Alhaji Jakande throughout his tenure, lived in his personal house in Ilupeju area of Lagos and also used his personal car, apart from other landmark projects consummated by his administration.

”While we commiserate with members of  the pen fraternity, his immediate and  political families as well as the Lagos State Government, 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. The nation has lost a great patriot, advocate of good governance and democracy.

Nigeria has lost one of its exemplary political leaders —Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said with the death Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Nigeria has lost one of its exemplary political leaders and administrators.

In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser, Media, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan who noted that Alhaji Jakande lived a long and inspirational life that found fulfilment in the service of humanity, said that the deceased made sterling contributions to the development of journalism In Nigeria before replicating his indelible footprints on the political and economic development of Nigeria with his landmark achievements as the first elected governor of Lagos State.

NGE mourns its pioneer president

“Also, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, in a statement by its President, Mustapha Isa, said

‘’on a day one legend of the profession was interred, journalism lost Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a pillar of the profession and poineer President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.’’

“The guild said ‘’Jakande’s death is particularly painful because it is coming at a period when the NGE has already lost too many of its members and founding fathers, including Malam Wada Maida, Ben Egbuna, and lately, Prince Tony Momoh.“

The NGE is, however, consoled by the fact that Jakande left his mark on the sands of time as a journalist of repute, publisher, media entrepreneur, politician, administrator, governor, minister, statesman and conscience of the nation.

READ ALSO: Jakande was a champion of the people – Ambode

“The NGE recalls with nostalgia, and gratitude, the role of Jakande, not only in the empowerment of journalists, through his John West publishing group, but also in the establishment and sustenance of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).

“The Guild also feels very proud of Jakande’s achievements as the first civilian governor of Lagos State, especially his impactful projects in public Housing, Education and infrastructure development which remains a reference point for good governance till this day.’’

It’s a monumental loss —Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has described the demise of a former governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, as a monumental loss.

The Speaker said he was personally touched by the death of Jakande, who he described as a man of peace, who lived all his life serving humanity.

Gbajabiamila said that the deceased’s invaluable contributions to making Lagos what it is today would never be erased, noting that the former Lagos governor was an embodiment of progress.

“Lateef Jakande’s death is a personal loss to me because he was a father to us all, and a strong political ally to my mother, Alhaja Lateefat Gbajabiamila. We will never forget the role he played in the economic and political existence of Lagos State, especially when he served as governor between 1979 and 1983.’’

Jakande was last of the titans —Tinubu

Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described the Jakande as the last of the political titans.

According to Asiwaju, Papa Jakande “could appropriately be described as the last of the titans ranking with the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Olabiyi Onabanjo, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Aminu Kano, among others.”

He said the late Jakande was also a “mature statesman never given to histrionics or fanning the embers of disunity,” adding that “at difficult moments in the nation’s history, such as the struggle against military dictatorship, he took personal painful decisions that cost him a lot, but his integrity was never impugned.”

Asiwaju Tinubu stated this in a condolence statement on the passing of the former journalist, administrator and politician, Alhaji Jakande, which he personally signed.

Titled “We Celebrate, Not Mourn Jakande,” Asiwaju Tinubu said: “Today, we lost a great soul. Pa Lateef Kayode Jakande exemplified the best of Lagos and of Nigeria. He could appropriately be described as the last of the titans ranking with the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Olabiyi Onabanjo, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Aminu Kano, among others.

“In housing, education, health care, and road construction, he left an indelible imprint. Thousands of Lagosian families still reside in the several housing estates he constructed across the state. Thousands of beneficiaries of his free education scheme are accomplished professionals and successful individuals in diverse fields today. The Jakande administration conceptualized and actualized the Lagos-Badagry Expressway that opened that whole sector of the state for development. ”

We’ve one of our greatest political leaders —Omo Agege

Also,  Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo Agege has said that even in death, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande will forever be remembered as one of the greatest political leaders in the history of Nigeria, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has said.

Senator Omo-Agege eulogised the elder statesman for his exemplary political leadership as well as his sterling personal qualities out of office.

In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, Senator Omo Agege said, “Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, a thorough journalist and exemplary politician left a bold imprint with accelerated populist and futuristic projects across Lagos State which he governed from 1979 to 1983.

“Later, as Minister of Works between 1993 and 1998, he dynamically strove to impact lives across the Federation.

“From being the literary editor of a secondary school publication, LKJ rose to become a great editor whose editorials were factual and forthright, and were treated with due respect by the colonial powers. ”

Oyetola condoles Sanwo-Olu, Lagos govt over Jakande’s death

Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, in a condolence message to the government and people of Lagos State over the death of the first civilian governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, said the deceased 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.

Oyetola in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, also commiserated with the entire Jakande family, friends and all those who mourn the late elder statesman and administrator.

Jakande served Lagos without greed, covetousness—Afenifere

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “Afenifere deeply mourns the death of the first executive Governor of Lagos state  Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande at the age of 91.

“Alhaji Jakande was the last of the LOOBO Governors who faithfully implemented the UPN five cardinal programmes.  His implementation of the free education program especially the phasing out of the shift programme in Lagos schools was swift and revolutionary. He served Lagos without greed and covetousness. He never lived in government house or drove a government car throughout his service to the state.

“Jakande developed the Lekki area and never took a plot for himself. His life was all about service. We pray that God will send more of his type our way.”

We’ve lost a titan —NUJ

Also mourning, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in a statement by its National President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, paid glowing tributes to the elder statesman.

”As a young Nigerian journalist who became governor of Lagos State, and Minister of Works  under the General Sani Abacha military regime, late Baba Jakande would be remembered for his life of consistent commitment to journalism and to public service. His life and times epitomised resilience, positive audacity, bravery and bravado and a knack for excellence.”

The NUJ would continue to cherish his mentorship, guidance and contribution to the growth of journalism in the country and support to the union. It is painful, however, that Baba Jakande died at the when another media titan, Prince Tony Momoh was being laid to rest in Lagos”

Indeed, the Lagos State of the NUJ, which named its building, ‘Light House’ after Jakande recalled Jakande’s unassailable achievements as journalist, governor of Lagos and Works minister.

”He was an erudite journalist, publisher, administrator par excellence and a political giant. He made indelible marks in Nigeria’s political history dated back to his days in Action Group and UPN. Nigeria’s political history cannot be written without a mention of Jakande (Baba Kekere), Lagos NUJ said in a statement by its Chairman, Adeleye Ajayi; and Secretary, Tunde Olalere.

The duo during a condolence to Jakande family named its Light House in Victoria Island, Lagos after Jakande.

The Light House was donated to NUJ Lagos Council by.Jakande who was the sitting governor of Lagos State between 1979 and 1983.

We’ve lost selfless, honest, faithful leader —Uzodimma

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State described Jakande as one of the honest, selfless and faithful leaders Nigeria has produced.

Recalling the life and times of the former governor of Lagos State, he said Lagos Sate in particular and Nigeria in general will sorely miss Jakande because of his populist programmes that stood him out as governor and endeared him to the people.

Governor Uzodimma, in a statement by Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Oguwike Nwachukwu, regretted that Nigeria has lost such a humble, sincere, committed progressive leader whose legacies, both tangible and intangible, are there for everyone to see, when his wise counsel was still needed.

He served the interest of large majority —Opadokun

Also speaking, NADECO Chieftain, Pa Ayo Opadokun, described Jakande as “a gift to humanity, a distinguished professional of the highest pedigree. He served the Journalism profession and created NPAN, NUJ among others. He was among the first Nigerian to be a board member of the international Press Institute.

“As a politician, he scored many firsts. In 1979, he established the first free education. He built the biggest low-cost housing estates in Lagos. He was the first to create the Lagos traffic Marshal. He was the governor who served the interest of the larger majority.”

LKJ  was peerless  – Arogundade

Executive Director, International Press Centre and former Chairman, Lagos State Council of NUJ, Lanre Arogundade, in his tribute said: ”Thank you Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande for being a pillar of the contribution of the Nigerian Press to Nigeria’s development. From journalism to politics, you were such a wonderful pioneer of enduring media legacies – from being the Managing Editor of the Nigerian Tribune, to establishing the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), to the setting up of the first weekend 24/7 broadcast station in Nigeria – Lagos Weekend Television/Lagos Television as first executive Governor of Lagos State, etc. the records speak volumes of who you were.

”Of Nigeria’s bourgeois political class from the second republic to date, you were peerless. In four years and three months from October 1979 to December 1983 you simply opened up Lagos through a programme of massive public works mostly done by direct labour (facilitated by the establishment of the Lagos Bulk Purchase) that led to the construction of low and middle income estates all over the state, none of which you named after yourself nor even after your political leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo who commissioned some of them; but which the people in recognition of your foresight gladly ‘named’ after you.

”Thus, till today you have Jakande in Isolo, Jakande in Agege, Jakande in Ogba ….and just everywhere. The opening up also meant the construction of roads including Lekki – Epe road, LASU-Iyana Oba road. In the field of education the Lagos State University was a product of your vision. But perhaps what distinguished you most, educationally speaking, was the eradication of the shift system of primary and secondary school education which had hitherto been the practice and which had subjected generations of Lagos kids to the hardship and horror of school attendance in sunny and rainy afternoons and evenings.

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.”

Jakande devoted his life to Lagos devt – Bode George, Olarenwaju, Dallas

A group, Omo Eko Pataki, expressed shock at the death of Jakande.

The group, in a statement by its leader and trustee members, Chief Bode George; Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju, and Mr Gbadeb? Dallass, described the late Jakande as a selfless, dedicated, devoted Lagosian and a Nigerian patriot whose life was anchored on principled morality, stripped of rancour or bitterness.

The statement, titled: ‘The Passage of Alhaji Lateef  Kayode Jakande’, reads: “The passage of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande is shocking, heart-breaking and sorrowful. We all feel orphaned, solitary and sad as we mourn the passage of a great man who devoted his life to the growth and the development of our state.

“LKJ was a selfless, dedicated, devoted Lagosian and a Nigerian patriot whose life was anchored on principled morality, stripped of rancour or bitterness. ”

Jakande ‘ll continue to live people’s heart — Fayemi

Also, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said Jakande was a selfless leader, statesman and a role model who utilised public service effectively for the development of the people.

Dr Fayemi described Alhaji 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.

The Governor who described Jakande’s death as an irreparable loss to Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole, said the late statesman spent his life as a committed and diligent public servant and a leader who loved his people dearly.

He said the late elder statesman had immortalised himself in the hearts of the people through numerous impactful programmes and projects he executed while in office.

While noting that the deceased made his mark in the media before venturing into politics, Dr. Fayemi said the “Action Governor”  excelled as a reporter, editor, Publisher and administrator, adding that his public service record was untainted.

Jakande was a champion of the people – Ambode

Immediate past governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, expressed deep shock over the demise of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande.

In a statement by his Executive Assistant, Hunsu Peter, the former Lagos governor  said: “The news of the demise of Baba Jakande came to me as a rude shock. He was ripe at age, but we had hoped he would live to celebrate a centenary. He further stressed that his life symbolised humility, uprightness and honesty. He was an exemplary leader, a perfect gentleman and a man of integrity and character. Lagos will forever be grateful to him for his unparalled service”.

“When I was in office I always looked forward to his fatherly advice and encouragement. Apart from that was his visible presence at state events, even with his health condition never deterred him from giving his support. This shows how he lived a very humbled and upright life throughout his sojourn here on earth”.

“This is a big loss to Lagosians and Nigerians in general. But we take solace in the fact that he left huge footprints that will remain indelible in the minds of progressive Lagosians.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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