Thursday, February 11, 2021 1:05 pm
Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a former Governor of Lagos State, died today, Thursday, 11 February, 2021 at the age of 91
He was the Governor of Lagos between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983. He was one of the great disciples of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. It was on the basis of the Awolo-led Unity Party of Nigeria’s five cardinal programmes that Jakande had great achievements in Lagos.
Below are some of Jakande’s achievements between 1999 and 1983:
* His government built the current Lagos State Secretariat which houses all the state ministries as well as the popular round house hitherto occupied by all subsequent governors of the state.
* His government built the Lagos State House of Assembly complex.
* His government built the Lagos State Television
* His government built the Lagos Radio
* His government built Lagos State University
* His government established General Hospital in zones all over the state with assurance of free health care.
* His government established Teacher Training College and the College of Education.
* His government built low cost houses in Ijaiye, Dolphin, Oke-Afa, Ije, Abesan, Iponri, Ipaja, Abule Nla, Epe, Amuwo-Odofin, Anikantamo, Surulere, Iba, Ikorodu, Badagry, Isheri/Olowu, Orisigun etc.
* His government established the Water Management Board and Waste Disposal Board on the 18th of August, 1980.
* His government constructed the Adiyan Water Works to increase water supply in the state to 18.16 million litres per day.
* His government modernized and expanded the Iju Water Works which was first commissioned in 1915. This increased daily capacity from 159 million to 204 million litres per day.
* His government purchased and commissioned the giant car crusher equipment. The equipment was designed specifically to crush derelict vehicles in Lagos State. It had the capacity to crush 45 vehicles per day.
* His government constructed, rehabilitated and resurfaced Epe/Ijebu-Ode Road, Oba Akran Avenue, Toyin Street, Town Planning Way, Alimosho-Idimu-Egbe Road, Idimu-Iba-LASU Road, the new secretariat road and several others.
* His government constructed Victoria Island/Epe Road and thereby creating an ‘oil rig’ for Lagos State.
* His government established Asphalt Plant for the Department of Public Works.
* His government established Electricity Board for Rural Electrification with provision of street lights.
* His government modernized, expanded and commissioned Onikan Stadium in 1982.
* His government established a singular school system and ensured genuine free education in Lagos State and the beneficiaries of this policy are in different positions of eminence in the country and around the world.
* His government raised the primary schools in Lagos State to 812 with 533,001 pupils (against 605 primary schools with 434,545 pupils he met in 1979) and secondary schools to 223 with 167,629 students (against 105 schools with 107,835 students in 1979).
* His government constructed 11, 729 classrooms with the maximum of 40 children per class between March and August 1980, by 1983, he had constructed over 22,000 classrooms.
* In July 1983, two commercial passenger boats christened “Baba Kekere and Itafaji” to run the Mile 2 – Marina (CMS) route via the lagoons were inaugurated by his government to mark the official launch of the Lagos State ferry services.
* His government took over the ownership and financing of Lagos State Printing Corporation in July 1980
* His government established the first State Traffic Management Authority (Road Marshals).
* His government established small scale Industries Credit Scheme which preceded the EKO bank.
*His government established LASACO Insurance.
*His government expanded existing market and built new ones.
*His government established Traditional Medicine Board.
The Man, Jakande
Lateef Kayode Jakande was born in the Epetedo area of Lagos Island, Lagos State on 29 July 1929. Both parents are, according to writings of his biogrpahers aggregated by Wikipedia, from Omu-Aran, Kwara State.
‘He studied at the Lagos public school at Enu-Owa, Lagos Island, then at Bunham Memorial Methodist School, Port Harcourt (1934–43). He studied briefly at King’s College, Lagos in 1943, and then enrolled at Ilesha Grammar School in 1945, where he edited a literary paper called The Quarterly Mirror.
In 1949, Jakande began a career in journalism first with the Daily Service and then in 1953 joining the Nigerian Tribune. In 1956 he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Tribune by the owner Chief Obafemi Awolowo. His editorials were factual and forthright, and were treated by the colonial powers with respect. After leaving the Tribune in 1975, Jakande established John West Publications and began to publish The Lagos News. He served as the first President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
Governor of Lagos State
Encouraged by Awolowo, he ran for election as executive governor of Lagos State in 1979, on the Unity Party of Nigeria platform. He defeated his opponents, Adeniran Ogunsanya of NPP and Sultan Ladega Adeniji Adele of National Party of Nigeria and was subsequently sworn in as governor. 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.
After the military take-over in 1983, Jakande was charged, prosecuted and convicted of treason, although later he was pardoned. After being freed, he accepted the position of Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime, which earned him some criticism. He claimed that he had accepted the post under pressure from M. K. O. Abiola and other progressive leaders. In a later interview, he said he had no regrets about the decision to serve. However, his association with Abacha handicapped his career in politics after the restoration of democracy in 1999.
Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande became a senior member of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) when the UNPP and APP merged. In June 2002, he was “suspended” by a faction of the ANPP loyal to Chief Lanre Razaq. Jakande was the first chairman of the Action Party of Nigeria (APN) when it was formed in November 2006. In May 2009, he was reported to be engaged a struggle for control of the party with his former ally, Dr. Adegbola Dominic.
Many prominent people attended his 75th birthday celebration. At this event, Governor of Lagos State Bola Ahmed Tinubu said Jakande was worth celebrating for his life of consistent commitment to public service. Imo State Governor Achike Udenwa said Jakande’s life and times epitomised “resilience, positive audacity, bravery and bravado, and a knack for excellence.’