The late first Executive Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, has been described as an administrative genius whose policies were all centred at the development and improvement in the lives of the people.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated this on Friday, 12 February, 2021 in an emotional tribute he wrote on the departure of the first democratically elected Executive Governor of Lagos State.
Titled, ‘Jakande: Exit of the last Titan’, Aregbesola stated that though Jakande lived a long, fulfilled life, “his departure left a great void, an earthly separation that comes with grief and a helpless sense of the loss of a person of irreplaceable value”.
Going back memory lane, the Minister wrote that Jakande established himself as a loyal disciple of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo even to the extent of being jailed alongside with the late sage.
“Then he became noted as Leader writer with the Nigerian Tribune, establishing his bona fide as democracy and civil liberty promoter as well as a terror to tyranny,” he wrote.
Going further, Aregbesola described the late Jakande as an administrative genius whose policies were not only people-centred but also an administrator whose legacies are unalterable.
“Jakande was an administrative genius. All his policies were people centred – education, housing, community development and so on. He recorded huge human and infrastructural development and with a stroke of genius, was able to maintain an unusual balance between the duo. He also epitomised the four cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the platform under which he contested. He brought a phenomenal turnaround in Lagos.
“His legacies are unalterable. The housing development programme, with the houses still standing after four decades; the cost-effective schools are still in operation; Lagos State University; Lagos State Polytechnic; and other monuments that characterised his impactful administration.
“He was not our regular politician. He was too consumed by the passion for the masses. He lived a spartan and abstemious life, avoiding extravagance. Even as governor, he lived in his own house and rode his personal car,” the Minister wrote.
Describing his as the last Titan of the five governors elected on the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in 1979, Aregbesola stated that since his exit from political participation, the late Jakande lived a dignified, quiet life as an elder statesman and private citizen.
The Minister condoled with the nuclear and extended Jakande family and the government of Lagos State on the death of the man called Baba Kekere.