BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said Nigeria has lost one of its exemplary political leaders and administrators with the death on Thursday of Second Republic Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande.
Lawn said Alhaji Jakande lived a long and inspirational life that found fulfilment in the service of humanity.
A statement by the media adviser to the Senate President, Ola Awoniyi, quoted Lawan as saying that the Late Jakande 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.
“His feats and carriage as governor made Alhaji Lateef Jakande a permanent face of progressive politics which primary concern is the welfare and well-being of the people.
“Throughout his tenure as governor, he faithfully implemented the four cardinal programmes of his party, the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria.
“His numerous legacies continue to be appreciated, particularly in the education, health and housing sectors of Lagos State,” Lawan says.
“Alhaj Jakande took his Midas touch to the Federal level when he served briefly as the Minister of Works where he left his marks especially on the landscape of Abuja.”
The Senate President commiserated with the family, friends and associates of the legend over his departure.
For his part, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, said even in death, the former Lagos State governor, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, will forever be remembered as one of the greatest political leaders in the history of Nigeria.
A statement by Omo-Agege’s media adviser, Yomi Odunuga, eulogised the elder statesman for his exemplary political leadership as well as his sterling personal qualities out of office.
“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.
“Through a mix of journalism and entrepreneurship which should further inspire young journalists today, he left Tribune newspapers in 1975 to establish John West Publications and The Lagos News.
“Notably, he became the pioneer President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN).
“In addition to all these, Alhaji Jakande was a very loyal lieutenant of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a trusted leader, a true achiever in all sense of the word and a great family man whose personal life was a lesson in moderation,” Senator Omo-Agege stated.
The Delta born Senator also prayed God to comfort Alhaji Jakande’s wife, Alhaja Abimbola Sikirat Jakande, their children and the former governor’s ardent admirers.
Both presiding officers of the Senate sent thier condolences to the people of Lagos State and the Newspapers Properties Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) over the transition of the titan even as they prayed Allah to forgive his sins and accept his soul into Aljannat Firdaus.